After Howard County Sheriff's Department Deputy Carl Koontz, 26, was killed in the line of duty Sunday, we asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter to share remembrances of this fallen officer. The response was amazing. Here are but a few of the stories they shared:

“Carl was so sweet and caring to anyone. Every time we were with them we had a great laugh. I remember when Braxton was about 2 we went over to the Koontz house and Carl let Braxton hop up in his squad car and play with the lights. Braxton thought that was the most amazing thing ever! Never will I forget the excitement Carl had when he found out he was going to have a little man of his own. This world is not fair, and my heart is so heavy at the loss we received today. You will always be remembered Carl Koontz!” — Kasey Deeter

“Carl was the first officer I encountered at the scene of a shooting, the first major incident I covered as a news reporter a few years ago. He couldn't have been on the force long. He was kind and gracious enough to help me understand everything about the process — where to stand, what officers could and couldn't say, and when it was appropriate to come forward to ask questions. He could've gotten angry with a rookie news media member, but he didn't. I will always appreciate that. You always knew if he was working a scene, it was going to be handled by the letter of the law.” — Josh Sigler

“I actually [did] a ride along with the sheriff’s department a couple years ago. [The] officer I rode with was Carl. I didn't know anything about him when I first met him, but by the end of the night I could tell you almost everything about him. We went to eat supper with several other deputies that night and, of course, I brought money to pay for my food. But, he offered and wanted to pay for my dinner that night. I told him, ‘No, you don't have to do that.’ I finally convinced him not to. And he actually gave me a tour of the whole jail. Had a great time, and he was a great person. He's [going to] definitely be missed by me and many more. RIP, good sir.” — Dalton Shults

“A few weeks ago Adalynne was giving me lots of trouble about staying in her car seat. She had fought me for days before I decided enough was enough. One day I decided I was going to pull into the Howard County Jail so she could talk to an officer about car seat safety. It just so happened the officer they sent out was Deputy Koontz. When he came out, he asked me what was going on and so I told him the situation. He just laughed and said, ‘Really?’ I responded, ‘Yep, she needs to learn her lesson.’ Deputy Kootnz stood out in the cold for at least 30 minutes talking to Adalynne about car seat safety. He couldn't help but giggle every time she responded with her sassy remarks. (She was not afraid that he was a cop whatsoever.) He then told us he has a little boy and asked if this is what he had to look forward to. I laughed and said, ‘Oh, you have no idea!’ The news of his passing just breaks my heart. He was one of the sweetest men and officer I have met and was so patient and kind to Adalynne. Sending prayers to his family, friends and fellow officers.” — Brianne Harness

“Every time he was at Northwestern [High] School [as their resource officer] in the mornings, he was usually the first person we saw inside the door, and he had such a warm smile to start the kiddos school day. I told him many times, ‘Thank you for being here.’ He would just smile and say, ‘My pleasure.’ I know his presence always made us feel that much safer. He will be missed. Thank you for your service. God bless you and your family.” — Jean Waldron

“I encountered him working at Kokomo Speedway shortly after Rodney passed. He was proud of his job and a very hard worker!” — Jill Claxton

“I told him about a year ago, ‘Thank you for your service.’ I kidded around with him and said, ‘You are too young.’ Then he told me his age. Gone too soon.” — Suzanne Bell

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.

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