McHenry Co. Sheriff's Deputy Killed In Rockford Shooting; Suspect Arrested

Mar 7, 2019

The suspect in Thursday's shooting of a sheriff's deputy at a Rockford hotel surrendered to police after several hours of negotiations. Floyd E. Brown, a central Illinois resident, crashed his car near Lincoln, Ill., then barricaded himself inside while Illinois State Police negotiators maintained contact with him. He is expected to be brought back to Winnebago County, where he faces first-degree murder charges. He is also facing federal first-degree murder charges, which make him eligible for the death penalty.

The McHenry Co. Sheriff's Office says Deputy Jacob Keltner died after being shot in Rockford Thursday morning. According to a release, Keltner died shortly after 3:30 p.m. He was shot while attempting to serve an arrest warrant with the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Rockford Police Department Deputy Chief John Pozzi said local, state and federal law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting of an officer around 9:15 a.m. Pozzi said the shooting occurred while a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force was serving an arrest warrant on Floyd E. Brown at the Extended Stay America hotel in Rockford. Armed with a rifle, Brown began shooting, then jumped out the window of his room on the third story of the hotel. In the hotel parking lot, Brown shot a McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy who was assigned to the task force at the time, wounding him critically. The officer was taken to an area hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Rockford Police Lt. Kurt Whisenand said police later found a woman who he described as an acquaintance of Brown’s in the hotel room. Whisenand said she had been shot, presumably by Brown, as no law enforcement officers fired any rounds during the incident. Whisenand said her injuries are non-life-threatening.

Rockford officials give an update on a shooting in Rockford on Thursday morning.
Credit Guy Stephens

Brown, meanwhile took off in a silver-colored Mercury vehicle and fled south. Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Sam Thomas said police caught up with him near Bloomington, then chased him on I-55 to near Lincoln, Ill., where he crashed his car in a field. At the time of the conference the suspect, thought to be still armed with the rifle, was barricaded in the car and surrounded by police, who were trying to negotiate with him. I-55 was closed to traffic in the vicinity.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said, following the shooting, prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for Brown on the charge of first degree attempted murder. Deputy Chief Pozzi said Brown has a long criminal history, and several active arrest warrants out for him in Sangamon, Champaign, and McLean Counties. He also had a warrant for a parole violation from the Illinois Department of Corrections. He said Brown has no apparent connection to the Rockford area.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara offered thanks and support for the first responders and sympathy for the wounded deputy, his family and fellow officers.

1:25 p.m. UPDATE: During a media briefing held Thursday afternoon, Rockford officials confirm a McHenry Co. officer is in critical condition. A woman who was in the hotel room sustained a gunshot wound. The suspect, Floyd Brown, is currently engaged with officers in a "barricade" situation in a field in a rural area off I-55.

Credit Bloomington Police

12:30 p.m. UPDATE: According to Illinois State Police, officers are engaged in a pursuit with the suspect. The suspect is currently stationary inside of his vehicle on I-55 southbound at mile post 133 in Logan County.

I-55 northbound and southbound at this location are temporarily shut down. Route 66 is also temporarily shut down.

ISP SWAT is on scene and crisis negotiation officers are en route.

BACKGROUND: Rockford Police reported at 9:15 a.m. that they were on the scene at the Extended Stay America hotel at 747 North Bell School Road investigating an "active shooter situation." Police are asking the public to avoid the area.  

Assistant Deputy Chief Andre Brass of the Rockford Police Department

A Rockford police spokesman says a U.S. Marshal's Office task force was attempting to serve an arrest warrant at one of the rooms when the alleged shooting occurred. One individal working with the task force was wounded.

Police say the suspect is Floyd E. Brown, 39, a Springfield area resident. Police say he may have used a rifle, fled the room, and is driving a light blue or silver Mercury Grand Marquis. Police say his license plate may be BF13112 or a temporary plate of 4850256.  Citizens are asked not to approach the vehicle but rather call police because he is considered armed and dangerous.

According to WGLT Public Radio, police started searching for a Floyd Brown of Springfield in December of 2018 for a string of burglaries in the Bloomington Normal area.

Chase Cavanaugh, Guy Stephens, Susan Stephens, and Jenna Dooley contributed to this report.