Category Archives: Rockford Shooting

A Letter From The Wife Of Slain McHenry County Deputy Jacob Keltner

CHICAGO (CBS) —  McHenry County Deputy Jacob Keltner’s wife is speaking out after he was killed in a shooting at a Rockford hotel while serving an arrest warrant Thursday morning.

Jacob Keltner (Credit: Facebook)

Rockford Police Deputy Chief John Pozzi said Keltner was assigned to a U.S. Marshals Service task force that was serving an arrest warrant on 39-year-old Floyd Brown at the Extended Stay America hotel in Rockford around 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Brown used a rifle to fire shots through the door as officers approached his hotel room. Brown also shot at the officers as he fled the hotel, striking Keltner.

Keltner was taken to Mercy Health Javon Bea Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

Sources said Brown later fired shots at Illinois State Police during a chase on Interstate 55, before he spun out near the town of Lincoln, in Logan County, about halfway between Bloomington and Springfield. Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Sam Thomas said Brown crashed in a field in a rural area far from any populated areas, and barricaded himself in his vehicle.

He was taken into custody around 5 p.m. that day.

Now Keltner’s wife has released the following letter to share who her husband was:

I am writing this letter because my husband, Jacob Keltner, should be remembered not as another statistic but as a man, a great man, who sacrificed his life to protect others.

Jake is the love of my life. We met at Western Illinois University in January 2004 and were inseparable. We married in 2007 and soon after I got a teaching job and we both focused on our careers doing what we love. In 2012 we were overjoyed to add Caleb (who is going to be president someday) to our family and then Carson (my fiery red head) blessed us in 2014. Jake and I agreed that I would leave teaching to dedicate all of my time to raise our boys, and it has been the best time of my life and our marriage. We loved each other fiercely. He was a tough guy but a secret sweetheart. He surprised me with the best gifts, nights out, and heartfelt notes. He would do things he hated with me (like seeing a ballet) because he knew how much I loved it. He supported every endeavor I ever took on and was there for me every second when my mom recently passed away. I was so lucky to have found a love so good and a man worth spending my life with.

He was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan with me and we almost died watching the 2016 World Series together. He loved adventure. He would try anything — bungee jumping, zip lining, white water rafting and more with a high smile on his face. Some of those he made me do with him, and he would hold my hand the whole time. He was brave and he made me braver.

My husband was a “cop’s cop.” He loved everything about his job and looked forward to going to work every day. He was a true patriot who wanted to protect the people of this country so I knew when he was selected for a position on the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, I couldn’t have stopped him from taking the job if I tried. I knew it was dangers, but he was smart, strong, and great at what he did. I knew he would protect his fellow officers like he protected our family.

Then I received the one phone call every police officer’s wife has nightmares about, only this time the nightmare was real. Now I find myself a 33 year old widow, mother of two young boys who no longer have their daddy. It feels unreal. I have screamed. I have cried. Nothing can make this better.

He was an amazing dad. He always found ways to have fun with the boys. The night before he died he was teaching them how to catch and throw to get ready for little league. He built forts and set up family movie nights and “boy’s nights” with the kids. We spend our summer relaxing and swimming in the pool. Deemed “the baby whisperer” he was the only one who could get Carson to stop crying as a baby by singing to him. Telling my children he was taken from us was the worst moment of my life. They are innocent and pure and certainly do not deserve this. They will never know their daddy like they deserve. They won’t know him as a jokester. They won’t know his contagious smile and his infectious laugh. He was taken from them far too soon.

Being a cope’s wife is not easy. It’s long days and nights where you don’t know when they’re coming home. It’s the constant worry that something will happen to them. It’s keeping the kids quiet when daddy needs to sleep for a few hours. It’s going to events alone because they have to work and him always having to look over his shoulder when we were out together. But I am so very proud of him. He wanted to make the world a better place and he did make it a better place for my family. He was my rock. He supported me through thick and thin. He was my everything and we didn’t have enough time. I need him and I don’t know how to keep on going without him. I would give anything for one more hug, one more ‘I love you,’ or one more joke from the man I love so much.

There are no words to sum up a man who meant so much to me and to so many others. My only wish is to have a world where we stop hating each other. I am overwhelmed with the support I have been given from people everywhere these past few days. I see you. You are good just like my husband was. I will keep that in my heart forever. No matter who you are, every person has a story and people who love them. Every person has hopes and dreams. We need to accept and thrive on our differences. It’s what our country was built on. It’s what Jake believed in, even after everything he had seen. It’s what I believe in. He saw the worst of the worst every day but still had so much love in his heart. He was true and loyal. We all need to show each other love. Lift each other up. It’s the only way to stop the unconscionable madness.

A letter from Becki Keltner

 

 

Sister Of Accused Rockford Gunman: He’s Not A Monster

CHICAGO (CBS) — The sister of the gunman accused of killing a McHenry County deputy insisted he’s not a monster following his appearance in court Monday.

Deputy Jacob Keltner’s friends, family and extended law enforcement family packed into the court on one side of the courtroom, giving hugs and condolences.

Jacob Keltner (Credit: Facebook)

RELATED: Suspected Rockford Shooter Hospitalized, Expected In Court Next WeekDeputy Dies After Shooting At Rockford Hotel; Suspected Gunman In Custody After Standoff Downstate

Across from the bench, the defendant, 39-year-old Floyd Brown, slumped over restrained in a wheelchair, wearing a medical gown, a stomach or back brace, and bandages on at least one arm. It’s the result of injuries likely suffered while trying to escape law enforcement Thursday.

Floyd Brown, 39, was identified as the gunman who shot a sheriff’s deputy serving an arrest warrant at a Rockford hotel on March 7, 2019. (Source: Illinois Department of Corrections)

Officers were executing warrants for a United States Marshals Task Force, and Brown, who was at the Extended Stay America Hotel in Rockford, was wanted for parole violations linked to burglary.

Brown’s criminal history dates back to 1997. He has three domestic battery convictions and previously served 75 days for aggravated battery of a peace officer.

Brown is accused of shooting and killing 35-year-old Keltner.

A federal judge said Monday that the punishment for the crime could be life behind bars or the death penalty.

One of Brown’s sisters reacted to the seriousness of the allegations.

“I’m scared,” said Christina Brown. “Like them saying life and death. Death is the scariest. It’s like my nightmare. We just lost our mom in October due to cancer, so I just feel like I’m losing the second closest person to me.”

Christina Brown said she wants to tell her brother “that I love him and that I’m going to be here with him through all of this. And that he’s not alone.”

His sister also said she wanted to share the good things about her brother, calling him “a great father and a great brother.”

“I just want everybody to know that he’s not the monster that a lot of people are trying to make him out to be,” she said. “He’s a great man.” She said he has six children.

She did share some words for the deputy’s family and friends.

“My heart honestly, truly goes out to them at this time,” she said.

Floyd Brown said very little in court, and when he spoke it was quiet.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 20.

 

 

 

Law Enforcement, Onlookers Honor Fallen Deputy Jacob Keltner As He Arrives At Funeral Home

CHICAGO (CBS) — The body of slain deputy Jacob Keltner, who was killed in Thursday’s shooting in Rockford, was taken to a funeral home where loved ones will begin the process of saying goodbye.

The McHenry County sheriff’s deputy was helping a federal task force serve an arrest warrant Thursday when he was shot and killed at a Rockford hotel.

Law enforcement gathered to salute the fallen deputy as he was carried by hearse to a Huntley funeral home.

Lines of people paid their respects along the route from the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.

The aftermath of Thursday’s gun violence can be seen on David Ott’s Rock Valley Garden Center. It’s next to the hotel where the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force showed up looking for wanted for burglary and a parole violation.

“You lose business, but at the same time we’re more worried about the officer’s life that was lost,” Ott said. “You can’t repair that.”

Court documents show officers tried to open a locked room announcing police were on scene.

Investigators say the accused gunman, 39-year-old Floyd Brown, fired bullets through the wall and door.

Brown hopped out a third story window and is accused of shooting Keltner in the head before taking off in his car.

Police say Brown shot at them before he was eventually arrested after a standoff in Lincoln.

Rockford’s police chief said he can’t say how Brown got the weapon.

“No, that will be a part of the investigative follow up being done by the agencies,” he said.

For now, grieving police, deputies and friends follow up with support in numbers, as the flag draped coffin acts as a reminder of the sacrifice that can come with law enforcement service.

Procession Held For McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Killed In Rockford Shooting

CHICAGO (CBS) — Squads as far as they eye could see stretched about two miles in a show of respect and great sorrow along Rockford’s roads Thursday night as police, first responders and neighbors paid their respects for Deputy Jacob Keltner, who was killed in a shooting at a Rockford hotel Thursday morning.

“Every day we wake up, and those of us with children and spouses, we give them a kiss goodbye,” said Det. Sandra Rogers. “And we don’t know if we’ll ever see them again. And this is something we do because we love our community. We support our community. It’s not a job. It’s a calling.”

Keltner, 35, had a wife and two children.

Fellow law enforcement officers said he comes from a long line of service and was a dedicated family man who is truly going to be missed.

“There’s been too many of our officers killed this past year and too many of them who have served for all of us and taken on a duty. They’re supposed to protect and not be shot or killed,” said one onlooker at the procession.

Keltner was shot while helping a federal task force serve an arrest warrant at that hotel.

The Rockford Police Department’s procession began around 8 p.m. where the deputy took his final breaths, at Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital.

Lines of squad cars carried friends and people who’ve never met the deputy, creating lines of light. It was a caravan of grief with the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office as its destination.

“He’s a very hard working, loving, caring deputy that has been with the sheriff’s office for almost 13 years. And there’s no adequate words to express what a great person he is,” Rogers said.

“It’s heart wrenching to see, in a good way, to see how much support he got and received today. It’s amazing,” said another onlooker.

Coworkers Remember McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner

CHICAGO (CBS) — A McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy has died after he was shot while helping a federal task force serve an arrest warrant at a Rockford hotel Thursday morning. The gunman led police on a chase that ended with him crashing in central Illinois near Lincoln, where he was finally arrested after a standoff with police.

Deputy Jacob Keltner was 35 years old. He had a wife and two children.

He worked with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for 12 and a half years.

The wounded deputy was taken to Mercy Health Javon Bea Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

 

Officers were driving in and out of the hospital, about three miles from the hotel.

Departments from across the state are showing their support on social media, including Chicago police.

“He’s a very hard working, loving, caring deputy, been with the sheriff’s office for 13 years,” said Det. Sandra Rogers. “There are no adequate words to express what a great person he is. Every day we wake up, and those of us with children and spouses, we give them a kiss goodbye, and we don’t know if we’ll ever see them again. And this is something we do because we love our community. We support our community. It’s not a job. It’s a calling.”

“Jake was a great guy,” McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said. “Dedicated. Hardworking. He volunteered for the position he served in. He comes from a long line of service. He’s a dedicated guy and dedicated family man. He’s truly going to be missed.”

Employees at the sheriff’s office also say they appreciate all of the encouragement and support coming in from the community.

A procession for Keltner will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday night from MercyHealth’s Javon Bea Hospital – Riverside. The procession will travel wwest on Riverside Boulevard from the hospital, south on Perryville Rd. before heading west on East State St. to the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office.

Police Have Alleged Rockford Gunman Floyd Brown In Custody After Standoff Near Bloomington

CHICAGO (CBS) — After a five-hour standoff, Illinois State Police have taken Rockford cop-killer suspect Floyd Brown into custody.

Around 4:40 p.m., loud bangs were heard at the scene of the standoff. Sources say police used tear gas.

Shortly after 5 p.m. police arrested Brown and called for an ambulance, according to scanner dispatch messages. Brown may have suffered a broken arm or leg, according to the dispatch reports.

Police said they were still investigating the details of what happened when Floyd began shooting at police at the Extended Stay America hotel in Rockford, and fled the scene, but Pozzi said shots were fired both inside Brown’s third-floor hotel room, and in the hotel parking lot. The deputy was shot in the parking lot, and police later discovered a woman acquaintance of Brown’s had been shot inside the hotel room.

Floyd fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy in the parking lost. McHenry County officials identified the deputy as Jacob Keltner. The 35-year-old served  12 years with the department.

Police said no officers fired shots during the encounter with Brown at the hotel.

Officers were executing a warrant because Floyd violated his parole after a burglary spree in Bloomington in December.

Developing

 

Rockford Shooting: Everything We Know

CHICAGO (CBS)–Here’s what we know about the fatal shooting of the McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy Thursday in Rockford.

-Rockford Police Deputy Chief John Pozzi said the deputy was assigned to a U.S. Marshals Service task force that was serving an arrest warrant on 39-year-old Floyd E. Brown at the Extended Stay America hotel in Rockford around 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

-Shots were fired both inside Brown’s third-floor hotel room and in the hotel parking lot.

-The deputy was shot in the parking lot.

-The police later discovered a female acquaintance of Brown’s had been shot inside the hotel room.

-Officers fired no shots during the encounter with Brown at the hotel, and said Brown’s shots injured the woman.

-The wounded deputy has not been named by authorities, pending notification of his family.

-He was taken to Mercy Health Javon Bea Hospital in critical condition.

-Brown is wanted on arrest warrants in Sangamon, Champaign, and McLean counties; as well as a parole violation warrant from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

-Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for Brown on a charge of attempted murder following today’s shooting.

-As of 2:20 p.m. Thursday, the suspect was barricaded by Illinois State Police on I-55 in downstate Lincoln, Illinois