Mourners pack school gym to remember slain Illinois deputy
WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners packed a high school gymnasium Wednesday morning to remember a northern Illinois sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed while trying to serve an arrest warrant at a hotel.
The main gym at Woodstock North High School was filled during the funeral for McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner. More people were in an overflow area. Law enforcement representatives attended from across the region.
The Rev. Kendall Koenig, senior pastor of Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Algonquin, spoke about the 35-year-old Crystal Lake deputy’s family. Koenig said Keltner recently built zip lines for his son’s toys in their basement.
“Friends, we are not heroes because of how we die,” Koenig said. “We are heroes for how we live and you have lived it,” Koenig said of Keltner.
Mourners also left notes and flowers on a sheriff’s squad car parked in Woodstock and dedicated to Keltner, a 12 ½-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.
Keltner’s wife wrote an open letter to her husband Monday, saying she would give anything for one more hug, joke or “I love you” from her husband.
“It’s unfair,” she wrote. “I have screamed. I have cried. Nothing can make this better.”
Keltner was part of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force that was trying to serve a warrant on Floyd E. Brown, 39, for burglary and parole violation charges last Thursday. Police say Brown shot Keltner, fled the Rockford hotel in a vehicle and was arrested hours later after a standoff.
Brown is charged with first-degree murder in federal court. He didn’t enter a plea during his first court appearance Monday. The case is next scheduled to be in court March 20.