The McHenry County Sheriff's office posted a heartfelt thank you to those who showed their support as they mourned the loss of a deputy killed while trying to serve a warrant at a Rockford hotel Thursday.
"As this horrible unimaginable day draws to an end we would like to take a moment to say this: As we escorted our fallen officer, Deputy Jacob Keltner, to the Winnebago County Coroners Office tonight we saw you," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook just before midnight.
Keltner, who served with the McHenry County Sheriff's office for almost 13 years, died shortly after 3:30 p.m., hours after police say a gunman opened fire on a U.S. Marshals task force team serving a warrant at the Extended Stay hotel in Rockford. Keltner's accused killer, 39-year-old Floyd E. Brown, now faces first-degree murder charges.
Keltner was married and had two children, officials said.
"Deputy Keltner was an integral part of our office, someone who had risen quickly to greater responsibilities after he was first sworn in in 2006," McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim wrote Thursday. "He was loved and respected by all his colleagues, and he will be sorely missed."
Brown was apprehended after an hourslong standoff with state police and SWAT officers more than 100 miles from the shooting scene, authorities said.
Keltner's body was escorted in a procession Thursday night to the Winnebago County Coroner's office.
A line of police cars with their lights flashing could be seen for miles.
But police had a special thank you for those they saw standing in the cold, stopped in traffic and paying their respects.
"We saw the groups standing out in the cold with their blue line and American flags waving. We saw the men, women, and children standing at attention. We saw the people who stopped in traffic and got out of their cars with their hands over their hearts," the sheriff's office wrote.
"We saw the businesses who let their employees stand outside to pay their respects. We saw the car dealerships with all the cars in their lots, lights flashing. We saw the respect paid by the hospital staff, the EMS, and firefighters. We saw all the agencies that came to show their support and join in our procession," the post continued. "We saw you tonight and we want to thank you for your support."