Law enforcement agencies rally behind fallen officer

Carl G. Howell

Carl G. Howell

Local law enforcement officers from Churchill County plan to attend tomorrow’s funeral of Carson City Deputy Carl Howell, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday morning when responding to a physical domestic violence call.

After Howell responded to the call, he was talking to a female victim who had visible injuries. A male, later identified as 30-year-old Jonathon Pope of Carson City, came out of the house and started shooting at the officer.

According to officials, Howell was able to return fire on the suspect after being hit multiple times. Howell was transported to Carson Tahoe Hospital where he died from his injuries. Pope was pronounced dead at the scene.

Additional deputies responded to the scene and evacuated three children, ages 8-13, and an adult.

Howell’s funeral service will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Reno Events Center. A procession consisting of representatives from other law enforcement agencies, the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club and other law enforcement motorcycle clubs will escort Howell’s coffin from Fitzhenry‘s Funeral Home to Reno at about 9 a.m. According to other participants, the procession will involve units from the various law enforcement agencies throughout Northern Nevada and the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club who will be joined by other law enforcement motorcycle clubs.

At a Saturday night vigil in Carson City, attendees lit their candles and stood in silence as they waited for the processional to arrive. Law enforcement vehicles from Carson City, Lyon County, the Nevada Highway Patrol and many more led a processional from Dayton to Stagecoach to pick up Howell’s family members.

“We came out for the respect of the police,” said Carson City residents Gene and Donna Allensworth. “We wanted to show respect for the people that protect our community. It is sad that anyone has to get hurt, it’s terrible.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until Saturday.

Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman said his department will have two vehicles in the funeral procession, and other officers will attend the service.

“The law enforcement community is a brotherhood across the nation and especially strong when a brother this close is murdered,” Gehman said Monday. “We have guys from our office who previously worked in the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. This is a close personal thing.”

Gehman said when an officer responds to a domestic violence call, he has no idea of the dynamics of those involved. He said is one of the most unpredictable circumstances an officer faces.

“It takes a whole different level arguing with someone you care about … it’s more personal,” Gehman said. “It’s one of those things you can’t predict. An officer walks in not knowing what the dynamics are. You mix in violent on top of it, and it is always the unknown.”

Churchill County Sheriff Ben Trotter said his department will have one vehicle with two deputies in the procession

Trotter also said a situation such as Howell’s could happen any time to any one.

“Not a lot you can do about certain things,” Trotter said. “You have to go to the problem, not go away from it.”

Trotter said family emotions of love and hate are as strong as it gets, even if the hate is short lived. He said people involved in a domestic-violence call both perceive the police butting into someone’s business.

“That’s how they look at it,” Trotter said of reporting parties. “Typically, this is the most hazardous situation.”

Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribal Police Chief Tom Pysell said his department will have officers attending the funeral.

According to a media release, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office five-member Honor Guard will represent the agency. The Honor Guard will be a part of the Honor Cordon to receive the family and the casket as they arrive at the Reno Events Center.

The LCSO will also participate in the vehicle procession from Carson City to Reno. Although the exact number of LCSO vehicles and personnel participating has not yet been determined, it is estimated the agency will have about30 members in attendance.

Reno Police Department is investigating the incident with assistance from the Nevada Division of Investigation, Washoe County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab and Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.

A donation has been set up for Howell, a nine-year veteran of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. He leaves behind a wife and four children. Howell also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Carson City Deputy Sheriff’s Association has established a donation account at Heritage Bank of Nevada, “Carl Howell Memorial Fund” or account number 2000012522.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I ask our community to come together and support our law enforcement agency,” Don Gibson, president of the CCDSA wrote in a press release. “Carl, you will be greatly missed, always in our hearts and never forgotten by all your brothers and sisters. We have the watch from here, rest in peace our brother.”

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department also has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money. As of Monday afternoon, they collected more than $2,500. To donate to the Lyon County’s GoFundMe visit http://www.gofundme.com/e6232gyw.

Taylor Pettaway and Adam Trumble of the Nevada Appeal contributed to this story.

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