INDIANAPOLIS -- Less than 12 hours after one of his deputies had been shot, Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers delivered the news no sheriff wants to give.
"I'm here to inform you now that Deputy Carl Koontz has passed away," he told media gathered across from the emergency room at IU Methodist Hospital.
Koontz, a three-year veteran of the department, was serving a warrant with Howard County Sheriff Sgt. Jordan Buckley and officers from Kokomo police in Russiaville early Sunday morning when he and Sgt. Buckley were shot.
"As police officers we anticipate things like that but it comes as a total surprise to us. I mean, we plan for it, but you're never fully prepared of course for that situation, it truly is unknown to us," Rogers said.
A Russiaville officer and other deputies were able to get Koontz and Buckley out of the home and provide first aid. Both Koontz and Buckley were taken to Howard Regional Hospital and then airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where Koontz later died. Buckley is in stable condition.
"Deputy Carl Koontz was one of our family. These people standing with me, they are his family," Rogers said.
Koontz, 27, is survived by his wife and 8-month-old child.
"The family is doing what you'd expect. It's been... it's a very, very tragic situation being a father and a husband for family to lose that, I still haven't really comprehended it all myself," Rogers said.
Rogers said the department has received an outpouring of support from the law enforcement community.
"We've received a lot of offers of help from the surrounding sheriffs and the Indiana State Police, and I can't say enough about your Marion County Sheriff's Department or IMPD people that have been here to support us through this."
Dozens of officers helped transport Koontz from the hospital to the Marion County Coroner's Office.
And if you're wondering how you can help the department, Rogers simply asks that you thank an officer.
"I think if you have the opportunity to tell a police officer what you do appreciate about having them watch out for you every day, I think that's all that we can ask," he said.
"He was an outstanding officer. Had great promise with our agency, and he will be greatly missed."
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