Tornado Watch issued for several northwestern Indiana counties until 9 p.m.

State police release details of investigation into shootout that killed Deputy Carl Koontz

Deputy Carl Koontz

Deputy Carl Koontz

PERU, Ind. -- Indiana State Police released the findings Thursday in their investigation into the death of Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz.

State police had been investigating the March 20, 2016, shooting that killed Koontz and injured Sgt. Jordan Buckley. Koontz, 27, was serving a warrant when he was shot at a home in Russiaville. He and other law enforcement personnel were serving arrest and search warrants at the home in the 300 block of Chandler Street after receiving information that a wanted criminal, 25-year-old Evan Dorsey, was at the location.

During Thursday's news conference, Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann said his office had reviewed the case and that no action was necessary against police in connection with the incident. McCann said officers acted "lawfully" when they served search warrants for Dorsey.

According to Tony Slocum of Indiana State Police, the shootout involving Dorsey, Koontz and Buckley lasted approximately 20 seconds; Koontz was hit in the pelvis. Other officers pulled him out and began first aid. Buckley was hit in the buttocks and got out under his own power. Dorsey had been hiding inside a locked bedroom; he fired nine shots from a pair of handguns. Koontz and Buckley fired a total of 16 shots; none of them hit Dorsey.

Koontz and Buckley were taken to IU Health Methodist in Indianapolis, where Koontz died from his injuries. Dorsey died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

Sheriff Steve Rogers said that while his office did review the case, it did not change any protocols in regards to serving warrants. He did not believe there was anything wrong with the officers going in late at night without SWAT.

"(Dorsey) had no history of violence or resisting arrest that we knew of at that time," Rogers said. "I’m very proud of the officers for what they did. They were out there doing what the citizens of Howard County wanted them to do."

Inside Dorsey's trailer, police found electronic recording devices along with drugs and guns. The recordings provided more evidence of drug activity involving Dorsey, and police said nine other people have been charged in relation to the case. Six of them have been arrested and three others are being sought.

Suspects still at large:

  • Faithamber Lantz faces charges of conspiracy to commit dealing in meth, conspiracy to commit dealing in marijuana, two counts of visiting a common nuisance ans conspiracy to commit possession of a narcotic drug.
  • Cheyenne McIntosh faces charges of conspiracy to commit possession of meth, neglect of a dependent and visiting a common nuisance.
  • Jason Snow faces charges of conspiracy to commit dealing in marijuana and three counts of visiting a common nuisance.

Suspects in custody:

  • Cody Boller faces three counts of conspiracy to commit dealing in meth, three counts of conspiracy to commit dealing in marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance.
  • Joseph Alvarado Jr. faces charges of conspiracy to commit dealing in marijuana, neglect of a dependent and visiting a common nuisance.
  • Jennifer Adkins faces charges of conspiracy to commit possession of meth, three counts of visiting a common nuisance and conspiracy to commit possession of a narcotic drug.
  • Gregory Ryan faces a charge of visiting a common nuisance. He was sentenced on March 14, 2017 to 730 days in DOC with all suspended.He will serve supervised probation instead.
  • Melissa Tomlinson faces a charge of visiting a common nuisance.
  • Haley Rethlake faces a charge of visiting a common nuisance.

McCann said Boller was living in the trailer with Dorsey. Snow is the man Koontz initially pulled over on a traffic stop, who said he had been at Dorsey's trailer that night. It was that contact that led Koontz to file a warrant for Dorsey's arrest.

Some of the lingering questions surrounding the case include the discovery of a Kokomo police badge at the scene and the location of $1,700 that disappeared from Koontz's squad car. The badge, Slocum said, appears to have come from a Kokomo police officer who dropped or misplaced it at some point. He called the badge situation "embarrassing" but not criminal.

As for the missing money, Rogers said the money is the responsibility of his department. It's still unclear how it disappeared; state police said Koontz's patrol car was running and locked at the crime scene before they turned it over to the sheriff's department. What's clear is that the money, logged and counted by Koontz after he confiscated it during a traffic stop, is missing. Rogers said the case remains an open investigation.

"There are many theories and speculations, but I’m not going to talk about theories and speculation, I can only tell you that we do not have that money," Rogers said.

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