INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy and a suspect have died following a gunfight early Sunday inside a mobile home that also left a second deputy injured, authorities said.
Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz died at an Indianapolis hospital after being shot about 12:30 a.m. Sunday at a mobile home in Russiaville, Sheriff Steven Rogers said during a news conference Sunday afternoon outside of an Indianapolis hospital.
BREAKING UPDATE: Officials confirm Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz has passed away after being shot overnight pic.twitter.com/a9bvAz9Cts
— FOX59 News (@FOX59) March 20, 2016
A second deputy, Sgt. Jordan Buckley, also was shot and was in stable condition, alert and conscious, Indiana State Police said. Both officers had been wearing body armor, and fellow officers took them out of the mobile home to provide first aid.
SWAT officers found an unidentified suspect dead inside the mobile home about two hours after the gunfight, Rogers said.
Koontz and Buckley were serving arrest and search warrants at the home about 60 miles north of Indianapolis, Rogers said. No one answered officers’ knocks at the door.
“They got inside the residence, and they were met with gunfire,” Rogers said. “As police officers we anticipate things like that, but it comes as a total surprise to us.
“We plan for it, but you’re never fully prepared, of course, for that situation,” he said.
The sheriff said he could not recall another death in the line of duty during his 46 years with the Howard County department. Koontz had been a deputy for less than three years, and had a wife and a child about 8 months old.
Howard Co. Sheriff's Deputy Carl Koontz died earlier today from a gunshot wound. RIP & thank you for your service. pic.twitter.com/s5kUvRSSKT
— Sgt. Todd Ringle (@ISPEvansville) March 20, 2016
“He was an outstanding officer, he had great promise with our agency, and he’s going to be greatly missed,” Rogers said.
Rogers said that officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect, but he didn’t know which officers did so and it wasn’t clear how many were inside the mobile home during the gunfight.
After removing neighboring residents from their homes and trying to contact the suspected shooter for two hours, SWAT officers found a person dead inside the mobile home, Rogers said. The name of the dead person and the cause of death have not been released.
Investigators had learned a suspect wanted for possession of a syringe in neighboring Clinton County was hiding at the mobile home and obtained the warrants, Rogers said.