Roughly over 1000 bikers gathered at Grissom Air Museum Saturday to show respects to fallen Howard County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Koontz.

The Rose Ride, traveling from the air museum in Peru to the Howard County Sheriff’s Department in Kokomo, was a continued effort to raise funds for the Koontz family, Deputy Ryan Reel said Saturday. All attendees were encouraged to bring a free will donation of no less than $5.

“(The support) has been absolutely amazing,” Reel said. “Nobody would have ever thought this would happen - all the different things that are going on, all the different fund raisers.”

Bikers from across Indiana gathered at the museum with flags and flowers in hand, ready to show their support for law enforcement and the Koontz family.

“Everybody is trying to pitch in and do their part, from putting yard signs out in their yard, to blue lights at their house,” Reel said. “It’s an absolutely amazing process. It’s sad that this had to happen to see this, but it’s an amazing thing.”

Lead by police escort, motorcyclists started out on Ind. 931 headed south toward Kokomo, ending at the sheriff’s department, 1800 W. Markland Ave.

Participants and people in the community laid flowers, stuffed animals and other thoughtful gifts on top of and around Deputy Koontz’s vehicle, which has become a memorial site outside of the sheriff’s station.

The turnout for the event was much more than Deputy Reel had expected, he said.

“I was figuring we’d have maybe 2- or 300 bikes or so,” Reel said. “Just the outreach, the outpouring of all the citizens, all the bikers in this community is just amazing.”

Deputy Carl Koontz, 27, was shot while in the line of duty on Sunday, March 20 in Russiaville. He succumbed to his injuries later that day.

Koontz leaves behind a wife and young son.

A public visitation for Koontz will be held Monday, March 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Northwestern High School. Funeral services will also be held at Northwestern on Tuesday, March 29 beginning at 11 a.m. Koontz will be buried at Albright Cemetery in Kokomo. 

Cara Ball can be reached at 765-454-8565, cara.ball@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @CaraKTVideo.

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