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Campus mourns alumnus killed in the line of duty

March 21, 2016
KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo campus community mourns the death of one of its alumni, Howard County Sheriff Deputy Carl Koontz.

“What Carl represented was a lot of basic American values,” said Dianne Roden, professor of finance. “He was a young man with a wife and young child, serving his community as a deputy, doing his part. It’s absolutely tragic. He was so young, and had so much potential.”

Carl Koontz

Howard County Sheriff Deputy Carl Koontz.

Koontz, B.S. ’11, was killed in the line of duty Sunday morning as he and Sergeant Jordan Buckley served a pair of warrants in Russiaville. As they entered the residence, they were met with gunfire. He and Buckley were transported to Community Howard Regional Health, and then airlifted to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Koontz died following surgery.

A three-year sheriff department veteran, he earned a degree in business, with concentrations in finance and economics.

Koontz demonstrated his commitment to his studies by his perfect attendance in all four of the classes he took with Roden. She was not surprised to learn he had become a sheriff deputy, and called him a reliable student, a hard worker, and a person his classmates liked.

Sarah Heath, chair of the Department of Sociology, History, and Political Science, recalled him as a serious student who always chose a front row seat in a summer school history class she taught.

“What I liked about Carl was that he gave every appearance of being as serious about history as he was about everything else in his life,” she said, adding that he was a good student, who was attentive in class, and had a sense of humor. “Everything he did shone through in such a positive way,” she said.

The campus observed a moment of silence, requested via social media by Koontz’s wife, Kassandra, at 11:10 a.m. Monday (March 21), exactly 24 hours after his death. He is also survived by an infant son. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Sergeant Buckley’s wife, Layna, is currently a nursing student at IU Kokomo. They have three children. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 03/21/2016