Monday marked the one year anniversary since Carson City lost one of its own.
Carson City Deputy Carl Howell was honored Monday in two ceremonies for loved ones and colleagues as they came together to remember the fallen officer.
Howell was killed Aug. 15, 2015, after being shot while responding to a domestic violence call. Howell and a second deputy were responding to reports that a woman was being beaten in front of a house and screaming for help. When the officers arrived, Howell attempted to talk with Jonathon Pope, who was armed with a .357 Magnum. The two exchanged gunfire; Howell was shot in the calf, thigh and face and lost a significant amount of blood, but was able to shoot and kill Pope. Howell was transported to Carson Tahoe Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
“It is a bittersweet day to stand here to honor our fallen officers of Carson City Sheriff’s Office because they are truly heroes in our eyes in this community,” said Chaplain Ed Heddy, a former deputy.
The Sheriff’s Office unveiled a permanent wreath, created by the Department of Corrections, that circled the flag pole in front of the Sheriff’s Office as a memorial for Howell and the other four officers that Carson City has lost in the line of duty. The memorial was scribed with each officer’s name and end of watch, as well as Howell’s mantra “I was born for this, I will live for this, I would die for this.” The phrase was among one of Howell’s last posts on Facebook before he was killed in the line of duty.
“Today we honor Deputy Sheriff Carl Howell and all of the other heroes that have fallen in the line of duty working for the city of Carson City,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong.
The afternoon ceremony was small, a few dozen people present from the Howell family, the Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Probation, Capitol Police, Nevada Highway Patrol, Carson City Fire Department and city officials attended the event to honor Howell.
“A devastating event occurred one year ago today,” Furlong said. “...To the Howell family, we have had a lot of words and there is nothing I can say that will soften what happened, but we will remember this day every year.”
The Marine Corps League Silver State Detachment 630 also presented a check for $2,135 to the Howell family, to be put toward education funds for Howell’s children. The league raised the money during its annual outreach program last fall, and dedicated to give half of their funds to the Howell kids.
“Carl Howell is our Marine brother, we just wanted half of what we raised to go to his children,” said Marine Commandant Gary Armstrong. “He was a Marine and he remains a Marine.”
Howell was a part of several public safety factions; he had served as a Marine, had worked as a volunteer firefighter and held several positions within the Sheriff’s Office. When he was killed, Howell was on temporary patrol duties, his main function was serving inside the Carson City Courthouse. He was only days away from being reassigned back to the courts.
Employees at the Carson City Courthouse held a second ceremony for Howell Monday evening, to unveil a memorial.
“Carl Howell was assigned to court services and he worked with all of us,” said Judge Thomas Armstrong. “He was family to those of us in the courthouse and we miss him everyday.”
Courthouse employees Cristal Cooper, Mike and Christie Gribble, Megan McCoy and Andy Biasotti as well as Vital Signs of Carson City all assisted in creating a memorial wall in the front entrance of the courthouse. The memorial included a picture of Howell, an American flag with a blue line in it to represent law enforcement, the Police Pledge and above it the phrase “Heroes live forever.”
“I hope that when you all pass by this, you pass it with a smile and be proud of what we do because that is what Carl did,” said Furlong.
Armstrong shared his memories of Carl, saying that he had wanted to make him his bailiff one day.
“I just believed in him that much,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said the court marshals have a memorial for Howell in their office and that it reminds him of Howell every day.
“I see it everyday, every time I walk by it, I feel something,” Armstrong said. “I feel sad... but I also feel good things because I think of the dedication and sacrifice and being the best we could be for Carl.
“I hope that this helps everyone who comes through the courthouse.”
C Hill also was changed overnight to include a blue line in it to represent law enforcement.