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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 21, 2016) – The body of a fallen deputy has returned home to Howard County.

Deputy Carl Koontz was shot while serving a warrant early Sunday. He was transported to Methodist Hospital to receive treatment, but he later died from his injuries.

A police procession began Monday afternoon in Indianapolis around 3 p.m. to transport Koontz’s body to Stout & Son Funeral home in Howard County.

Hundreds convened on the procession route in Kokomo to remember the husband, father, and deputy, with a career just taking off…

“I was hoping it wasn’t him, because he’s just such a great guy, young at 27, a bright future ahead of him,” said Northwestern High School student, Skyler Longfellow.

It was an emotional morning outside the Howard County Sheriff’s Office where Koontz’ wife and infant son were at the center of a prayer circle and moment of silence.

“He was visible, he wasn’t just here to protect us, he was here as a friend and a mentor and he would attend our basketball games and football games, he also was at our prom, so he was there for students at important times in their lives,” said Northwestern High School Principal, Kristen Bilkey.

Koontz was a school resource officer at the school.

“Our kids don’t necessarily know him as Deputy Koontz, they know him as Carl, they’re used to seeing him in the morning greeting them, saying hello, asking them how they’re doing,” said Assistant Principal, Tim Shoaff.

Koontz’ death was felt everywhere, even on social media. Tippecanoe County Deputy Jason Huber posted an image of him hugging his daughter before heading out on the same night shift as Koontz. His message resonating and getting shared more than 15,000 times, “I ask that silent prayers turn into action and overwhelming support for those who serve and protect,” he wrote.

Earlier Monday morning, the community gathered at the Howard County Sheriff’s Department to observe a moment of silence in his honor.