Huntley comes out in support of McHenry County deputy who was killed in a hail of gunfire

  • Patrick Kunzer/pkunzer@dailyherald.comPeople line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner. Keltner was shot Thursday morning while attempting to serve a warrant at a Rockford hotel and subsequently died from his injuries.

    Patrick Kunzer/pkunzer@dailyherald.comPeople line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner. Keltner was shot Thursday morning while attempting to serve a warrant at a Rockford hotel and subsequently died from his injuries.

  • Elizabeth Hartzog of Huntley weeps as the hearse carrying fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner passes in downtown Huntley.

    Elizabeth Hartzog of Huntley weeps as the hearse carrying fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner passes in downtown Huntley. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Floyd E. Brown of Springfield is accused of fatally shooting McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner, who was part of a U.S. Marshals task force that attempted to execute warrants for Brown's arrest on Thursday morning.

    Floyd E. Brown of Springfield is accused of fatally shooting McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner, who was part of a U.S. Marshals task force that attempted to execute warrants for Brown's arrest on Thursday morning.

  • Illinois State Police and crisis negotiators were in a six-hour standoff Thursday with Floyd E. Brown, 39, of Springfield on Interstate 55 near Lincoln. Brown was charged with fatally shooting a McHenry County sheriff's deputy.

    Illinois State Police and crisis negotiators were in a six-hour standoff Thursday with Floyd E. Brown, 39, of Springfield on Interstate 55 near Lincoln. Brown was charged with fatally shooting a McHenry County sheriff's deputy. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/8/2019 11:10 PM

A man who fatally shot a McHenry County sheriff's deputy Thursday was staying in a Rockford hotel room with his girlfriend, who told officers on the scene she wanted to get out just before a spray of bullets erupted through the door and the walls, authorities said.

Deputy Jacob Keltner was shot by Floyd E. Brown of Springfield, who fled through a window of the third-story hotel room and was later apprehended after a six-hour standoff downstate along Interstate 55, authorities said.

 

During the pursuit, Brown shot at law enforcement officers "multiple times using a long gun," according to a search warrant affidavit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Western Division.

Authorities said Thursday no rounds were fired by law enforcement, either at the hotel in Rockford or during the standoff.

McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner was shot to death Thursday while trying to serve an arrest warrant with the U.S. Marshals Service in Rockford.
McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner was shot to death Thursday while trying to serve an arrest warrant with the U.S. Marshals Service in Rockford. - Courtesy of McHenry County sheriff's office

Keltner was a federally deputized officer with the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes regional fugitive task force, which went Thursday morning to the Extended Stay America on Bell School Road in Rockford to attempt to arrest 39-year-old Brown on several outstanding warrants.

His body was escorted Friday night by dozens of law enforcement officers and first responders from the Winnebago County coroner's office, along the Jane Addams Tollway, Route 47 in Huntley and then down Main Street to the DeFiore Jorgensen Funeral Home.

People line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner.
People line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner. - Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer
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Supporters stood on overpasses along the way, often joined by local firefighters. And they gathered around James C. Dhamer Town Square in downtown Huntley, many adults and children carrying American flags.

Just before the procession rolled through Main Street in Huntley, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" blared through the open doors of Parkside Pub. Melissa Strauss-Puckett commented on a live feed of the procession that the BBQ King Smokehouse, on Coral Street, held a moment of silence as the procession passed.

"It was heartwarming," she wrote.

People line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner.
People line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner. - Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

But then the bar and crowd fell silent. The procession passed, and the crowd applauded when it was over.

Brown is hospitalized downstate and is scheduled to appear in court on federal murder charges at 1 p.m. Monday in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, in Rockford, Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Schneider said Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Schneider said she didn't know when Brown was expected to be released from the hospital and into the custody of U.S. marshals, who will decide where he will be jailed.

Brown's 25-year-old girlfriend, also from Springfield, was treated and released from a hospital Thursday, Rockford police said.

Police on Thursday described the woman as an acquaintance of Brown's, but the federal complaint and search affidavit documents describe her as his girlfriend.

The pair were staying in Room 305 on the third floor of the hotel, where task force officers had spotted Brown's girlfriend. Keltner and other officers positioned themselves around the exterior of the hotel while others went to the door of Room 305 at about 9:15 a.m., documents state.

An officer knocked on the door and heard a male voice yelling from inside, "Don't do it!" Someone -- later identified as Brown's girlfriend -- came to the door but didn't open it. Officers used a key to open the door but couldn't get in because the interior swing guard lock was engaged.

The girlfriend said she wanted to get out as the male continued to yell, and then gunfire erupted toward the officers, coming through the door and walls of the room.

Brown fled through a window and shot at 35-year-old Keltner, who was struck in the head, documents state.

Officers eventually forced their entry into the room and "secured" the girlfriend, who was not charged with anything. The room had shell casings, bullet holes in the walls, blood and a laptop, documents state.

Brown, who was driving a Mercury Grand Marquis, was spotted about 10:45 a.m. by state troopers along Interstate 39 at mile marker 8, just north of Bloomington-Normal, state police said. A 30-minute chase ensued. Brown displayed a rifle and reached speeds "well in excess" of 100 mph, state police said.

The chase ended when troopers crashed into Brown's vehicle on I-55 near mile marker 133 in Logan County, around Lincoln northeast of Springfield, "in an attempt to terminate the pursuit for the safety of the public," state police said.

It's unclear how Brown was injured during the arrest; police didn't confirm reports that flash bangs were used.

People line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner.
People line the street in Huntley for Friday evening's procession to a funeral home in Huntley for fallen McHenry County sheriff's deputy Jacob Keltner. - Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

Keltner was a 13-year police veteran who comes from a law enforcement family. His brother works for the DuPage County sheriff's office, from which his father retired. Keltner had a wife and two children, and was "loved and respected by all his colleagues," McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said Thursday.

Federal charges can be issued when a federal law enforcement officer, or someone assisting federal law enforcement, is killed. The death penalty is a possibility, Schneider said.

Winnebago State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross also authorized first-degree murder charges for Brown, which carry a penalty of mandatory life in prison. Ross said Friday no court appearance was scheduled yet for Brown in Winnebago County.

Brown had burglary warrants from McLean and Champaign counties, a failure to appear warrant from Sangamon County and a parole violation issued by the Illinois Department of Corrections, police said.

Illinois Department of Corrections records show Brown was paroled in January 2018 after serving part of a 13-year prison sentence on residential burglary charges out of downstate Macon and McLean counties.

He previously served time in 2005 on unlawful restraint and violating an order of protection charges, and in 2001 on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, all out of Sangamon County.

• Daily Herald staff writer Justin Kmitch and staff photographer Patrick Kunzer contributed to this report.

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