KOKOMO, Ind. (March 22, 2016)-- Support and donations for fallen Howard County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Koontz and injured Sergeant Jordan Buckley continue to come in from across the state and the country.
Even the New York Yankees sent a flower arrangement to the Howard County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday.
In the nearly three days since Koontz was shot in the line of duty, an online page set up to raise contributions ballooned to more than $44,000 by Tuesday night.
A family friend started the page for Koontz. The Kokomo FOP Lodge #78 took the fund over to manage it, as a layer of security.
“We decided to take it on as a lodge to make sure that the community knew it was legitimate,” said Kelly Ingram, President of the Kokomo FOP Lodge #78.
The lodge also set up a donation page for Sgt. Jordan Buckley, shot and injured alongside his fallen brother. Funds there could be used to account for medical costs, lost income, or any other needs he or his family may have.
“No law enforcement agency wants to deal with something like this,” said Drew Wallsmith, Treasurer of the Kokomo FOP Lodge #78.
Wallsmith frequently worked with Koontz. He’s grieving over the loss of a colleague and a friend.
“Carl was a friend,” Wallsmith said, “A hard worker, someone that spent a lot of hours in a uniform.”
Tuesday afternoon, Dawn Stoerger pointed to the chair at Kokomo Uniform, where Koontz waited to buy his duty clothes.
“He sat in that one,” she said, as her chuckle turned to tears, “He’s actually come in here a few times and bought stuff from us. He’s always been nice, Jordan Buckley, too.”
Stoerger decided last night she had to do something. She started selling memorial t-shirts on Tuesday for $15 each, with orders she said, up into the hundreds.
“From last night until this morning, our phone and Facebook has been going off the hook,” she said.
There’s no design on the back of the shirt.
“We’re doing it more personalized,” she said, “So, you tell me what you want on the back, and we’re doing it.”
Proceeds from the shirts go to the Koontz fund, now under careful watch by officers promising the young family left behind will be taken care of.
“He’s a hero to us. We need to honor him for what he’s done, and his family needs to be aware that he’s a hero, and we’re going to take it from here, for him,” said Wallsmith.
Donations and checks can also be sent by mail to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #078, 102 W. Markland Avenue, Kokomo, IN 46901.
The FOP asks that any donations or checks be specified which fund they should apply to, Deputy Koontz or Sergeant Buckley.