A man suspected of shooting an officer Thursday at a northern Illinois hotel before fleeing the scene has crashed his vehicle along an interstate about 170 miles (273.5 kilometers) away, according to police. (March 7)
ROCKFORD, Illinois – A sheriff’s deputy trying to serve an arrest warrant on a parole violator died Thursday of gunshot wounds inflicted by the suspect, who fled the scene and led police on a 150-mile manhunt before his car crashed off an Illinois interstate.
The suspect, identified as Floyd Brown, 39, was wanted on multiple warrants from Illinois county and the Illinois state prison.
Police say Brown, who was staying at an Extended Stay America with a female acquaintance, allegedly fired on the officer with a rifle, then fled by apparently jumping out a third-floor window. His female companion was shot during the ordeal but her wounds are not life-threatening, according to police.
The officer, Jacob Keltner, was pronounced dead shortly after 3:30 pm CT, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. Keltner was a McHenry County sheriff’s officer assigned to a U.S. Marshal fugitive task force and was a 12-1/2 year veteran of the department. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and died about 8 hours later.
The gunman fled south and remained in his car on Interstate 55.
“ISP officers engaged in a pursuit with the suspect,” Illinois State Police Sgt. Delila Garcia said. “The suspect is currently stationary inside of his vehicle on I-55” near Lincoln in central Illinois.
The interstate was shut down in both directions and a SWAT team was on the scene, Garcia said.
Rockford Deputy Police Chief John Pozzi said the incident unfolded Thursday morning when members of the task force attempted to serve multiple warrants, including parole violations, on Brown.
Pozzi said Brown shot the McHenry County deputy with a rifle.
“The suspect fled prior to the large law enforcement response,” Pozzi said. No shots were fired by law enforcement officers, he said.
Winnebago County state’s attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross said Brown would be charged with attempted murder of the officer.
Earlier, Rockford Police Lt. Andre Brass said officers had been searching for a silver Mercury Grand Marquis.
“We just want to end this incident peacefully and with his surrender,” he said. “We have prayers for the officer that was hit and we have prayers for the officers trying to locate the suspect.”
Brass said Brown was the sole suspect and that there appeared to be no threat to the immediate community.
Rockford is about 90 miles northwest of Chicago, close to the Wisconsin border. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles could be seen rushing from the Chicago area to Rockford shortly after the shooting was reported.
The hotel is just off Interstate 90, nestled among several hotels and fast-food restaurants. Illinois State Police had cordoned off several blocks around the hotel.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was monitoring the situation and urged the community to follow the instructions of local law enforcement.
“My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the officer shot, his family, first responders & residents affected by this situation,” he said.
The incident came three weeks after a mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, 70 miles southeast of Rockford. Six people including the gunman died.
Extended Stay America has more than 600 locations across the nation. The suites, which include kitchens, are booked by the day, week or month.
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