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Deputy Carl Koontz: Gone, but never forgotten

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Thank you for your service, Deputy Carl Koontz

FALLEN OFFICER: Howard County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Carl Koontz, 26, was killed in the line of duty March 20.

A year has passed since Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, just 26 years old with a wife and baby son, was shot while serving a warrant in Russiaville and died that same day.

Few will soon forget March 20, 2016. Koontz was a Western High School and Indiana University Kokomo graduate who had worked at Northwestern High School as a student resource officer. He was part of our community.

Today, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, state legislators will read a resolution memorializing him.

"Deputy Carl Koontz paid the ultimate price while defending the people of Howard County and the state of Indiana," part of the resolution reads. "Deputy Koontz was known by all who came in contact with him as a truly kind and compassionate person who was particularly devoted to the youth of Indiana.

"The Indiana General Assembly wishes to express its deepest appreciation for the service of Deputy Koontz and its great sadness on his death. Deputy Koontz is truly a shining example of what is good and compassionate in mankind."

Here is what's planned today to honor him:

• 1:30 p.m.: State legislators will read a resolution commemorating Koontz one year after his death. State Reps. Mike Karickhoff and Heath VanNatter will speak on the floor of the House.

• 5:45 p.m.: The public is invited to bring a balloon for a balloon release at Koontz's grave in Albright Cemetery, 3910 S. Alto Road.

• 7:30 p.m.: A recognition and remembrance ceremony will be held at Northwestern Middle School.

Here's a look back at the last year and all that's happened since Koontz's passing.

March 20, 2016

12:30 a.m.: Deputy Carl Koontz and Sgt. Jordan Buckley are shot and wounded during a shootout while attempting to serve a warrant at 380 W. Chandler St. in Russiaville. Both are transported to Community Howard Regional Health and later airlifted to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Shooting in Russiaville

Two Howard County deputies were shot while serving a warrant at 380 W. Chandler Street in Russiaville on Sunday morning, March 20, 2016. The shooter was found dead after SWAT teams entered the residence. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

11:10 a.m.: Koontz, 26, dies from a gunshot wound to his hip sustained during the shootout. Gov. Mike Pence directs that flags at state facilities statewide immediately be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of his funeral.

March 21

Buckley is released from Methodist Hospital.

11:10 a.m.: The city and county hold a moment of silence to honor Koontz 24 hours after his death. Students and staff at Northwestern School Corp. spend the morning praying for his family. Koontz had worked two years as one of the district’s student resource officers.

Prayer at Northwestern

A prayer circle set up by students at Northwesten HS at the beginning of each lunch period drew large crowds of students on praying for Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, his family and anyone affected by this tragedy Monday March 21, 2016. Almost the entire second lunch period gathered outside the cafeteria for Koontz who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday March 20. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

3 p.m.: A police escort begins in Indianapolis to transport Koontz’s body back to Kokomo. Thousands gather along the route to honor him.

Koontz returns home

Thousands lined the route including Dixon Road, that Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz traveled as he body was returned to Kokomo after passing away in Indianapolis Sunday, on Monday March 21, 2016. Koontz was killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant early Sunday morning in Russiaville. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

March 22

Buckley makes his first public statement since the shooting, saying “Deputy Koontz sacrificed his life beside me, which is the reason I stand here today. I will be eternally grateful for his actions and every day I put on my uniform, I will wear it with pride for both of us.”

HCSD Press Conference

Sergeant Jordan Buckley, who was shot in Russiaville on Sunday, gives a statement and talks about fallen officer Deputy Carl Koontz during a press conference at the Howard County Sheriff Department on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

5 p.m.: A GoFundMe page for Koontz’s family raises more than $42,600 from donations by more than 800 people. Hundreds of flowers, flags and other mementos are placed around a squad vehicle outside the Howard County Sheriff’s Department to honor Koontz.

March 26

More than 1,000 bikers gather at Grissom Air Museum and ride to the Howard County Sheriff’s Department to show their respects for Koontz.

Koontz Rose Ride

Over a thousand bikers rode from Grissom Air Museum to the Howard County Sheriff Department to place flowers on the patrol car of Deputy Carl Koontz who was killed in the line of duty. The bikers were part of the Rose Ride on Saturday, March 26, 2016, benefiting the family of Deputy Carl Koontz. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

March 28

1 p.m.: Thousands arrive at Northwestern High School during the visitation for Koontz.

March 29

11 a.m. – Funeral services begin. An estimated 800 civilians and 3,000 law enforcement officers pack inside the gym at Northwestern High School, where Kassandra Koontz remembers her husband. Gov. Mike Pence also makes a statement.

Deputy Carl Koontz's visitation

Officers from departments from across Indiana and beyond were among those who paid their respects to Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz Monday, March 28, 2016, during a public visitation at Northwestern High School in Kokomo, Indiana. Koontz was killed in the line of duty on March 20.

2:30 p.m.: The procession to Albright Cemetery begins. The procession stopped at the Howard County Sheriff’s Department to read Koontz's final 10-42 before traveling on to the cemetery, where he was laid to rest with a three-volley gun salute and Taps.

Deputy Koontz Funeral

Sheriff Steve Rogers presents the flag from the coffin of Deputy Carl Koontz to Kassandra, wife of Deputy Koontz who is brought to Albright Cemetery for the final prayers and honors by thousands of police officers from all over the country on March 29, 2016. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

April 18

The Howard County Board of Commissioners amends an ordinance that allows Koontz’s department-issued gun to be given to his wife, Kassandra. “If you’re killed in the line of duty, your family should be entitled to that weapon,” Sheriff Rogers told the board. “It may not seem like a big deal, but down the road it can end up being a really important memento to the family.”

May 9

Buckley returns to patrol at the sheriff’s department after spending seven weeks recuperating from his wounds. “He’s been chomping at the bit to get back,” Rogers said. “It’s good to get him back, but what’s really good is he tells us he’s glad to be back. He said he’s ready.”

Sgt. Jordan Buckley

Sgt. Jordan Buckley talks to a deputy outside of Shirley & Stout Funeral Home on Monday, March 21, 2016.

May 13

Sheriff Rogers presents Buckley and the Koontz family with the sheriff department’s Medal of Honor and Purple Heart during a ceremony. A plaque is given to Koontz’s parents, Allen and Jackie. In addition, a bench highlighting Koontz’s end of watch date and various aspects of his life is dedicated in the jail parking lot.

Sheriff Awards

Sheriff Steve Rogers hugs Jackie Koontz, mother of fallen officer Carl Koontz, after giving her and her husband Allen Koontz an award during the Howard County Sheriff Departments annual inspection, awards and memorial service on May 12 , 2016. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

June 6

The Howard County Board of Commissioners honor Buckley and Koontz with Pillar of the Community awards, an idea generated after Buckley nominated Koontz for the county’s employee of the month recognition.

Pillar of the Community awards pic 2

(Left to right) Commissioner Brad Bray, Commissioner Paul Wyman, Kassandra Koontz, Sgt. Jordan Buckley and Commissioner Tyler Moore pose after Buckley and fallen Deputy Carl Koontz were honored with Pillar of the Community awards on June 6, 2016.

Read the story.

June 28

The Howard County Council approves a motion to raise the amount paid to the dependents of deceased officers from $30 to $1,000 per month through an adjustment to the sheriff’s department’s benefit plan. Rogers says the move was made to provide funding to the families of officers like Koontz.

July 7

Buckley’s 8-year-old son, Mason, is presented with 1,800 law enforcement patches from all over the world, along with a quilt made from patches, during an event called Real Heroes Wear Patches.

Real Heroes Wear Patches event

8-year-old Mason Buckley (left) and his dad Jordan Buckley unfold a quilt that Mason was surprised with during the Real Heroes Wear Patches event on July 7, 2016. Mason aspires to be like his dad Sgt. Jordan Buckley, so a group called Patches for Buckley collected over 1,000 law enforcement badges from all over the world to give to Mason. The patches that were from Indiana were sewn onto the quilt. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Aug. 17

The bridge at Markland and Park avenues is officially dedicated as the Deputy Carl A. Koontz Memorial Bridge. Crowds, not deterred by the late afternoon heat, come together to celebrate his memory as the Howard County Board of Commissioners make the dedication.

Koontz bridge dedication

Kassandra Koontz smiles as she looks at her 1-year-old son Noah Koontz after they unveil the new sign at the dedication of the Deputy Carl A. Koontz Memorial Bridge at Markland and Park on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Aug. 20

Several mementos, including handmade quilts, pillows and teddy bears were presented to the Koontz family during a presentation at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center organized by Indy Going Blue. Patches from across the United States — and even as far as Tokyo and Great Britain — were placed on quilts made entirely from police uniforms.

Quilts for Noah

Jackie Koontz shows her grandson, 1-year-old Noah Koontz, the quilt made for him in honor and memory of his dad and her son Carl Koontz. The quilts were presented to the family of Carl Koontz at the Kokomo Event Center on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Sept. 29

State investigators and local law enforcement release details during a press conference regarding the shooting death of Koontz after completing an investigation into the incident. Investigators reveal the names of nine people who were periodically videotaped entering the Russiaville trailer where Koontz was shot.

Oct. 5

Tiffany Massey, a volunteer firefighter in Russiaville, carries the state’s bicentennial torch in honor of Koontz during a relay of the torch around the state.

March 1, 2017

Tree Dedication

Kassandra Koontz, at right, holding to son Noah Koontz as a plaque is dedicated to the memory of her husband Carl on Wednesday. Ladd Dental Group planted a tree and is placing the plaque that CEO Mary Ladd held and placed under the red maple tree. Kassandra works a Ladd Dental. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

A red maple tree is planted at the entrance of Ladd Dental Group to honor Koontz. Kassie Koontz, who has worked for the dental group for over three years, and her son Noah are presented with a plaque reading “Gone but never forgotten.”

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