Officer shot at Rockford hotel dies; suspect Floyd Brown in custody

ByABC7 Eyewitness News Team Coverage WLS logo
Friday, March 8, 2019
Officer shot at Rockford hotel dies; suspect in custody
A man who allegedly shot and killed a local officer assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at a hotel in Rockford was taken into custody around 5 p.m.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WLS) -- A man who allegedly shot and killed a local officer assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at a hotel in Rockford was taken into custody without incident around 5 p.m. Thursday.

McHenry County sheriff's officers were assisting the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force to serve an arrest warrant on 39-year-old Floyd E. Brown of Springfield at the Extended Stay America at 747 North Bell School Road around 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

Brown was wanted on a number of warrants, including for burglary in McLean and Champaign counties, a failure to appear warrant in Sangamon County, and a parole violation warrant issued by the Illinois Department of Corrections, Rockford police said.

Brown opened fire on them with a rifle from inside a room on the third floor. He fired on them again outside the building, after jumping out of a window, Rockford police said Thursday afternoon.

"Based on what we know there were shots fired in the hotel room and also outside in the parking lot," said Lieutenant Kurt Whisenand, Rockford Police Department. "And we believe the marshal was shot outside."

'He's just truly going to be missed': Deputy Jacob Keltner is being mourned by family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office said Deputy Jacob Keltner was rushed to a Javon Bea Hospital Riverside in critical condition, where he died shortly after 3:30 p.m.

"Jake was a great guy," said McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim. "He was hard working. He volunteered for the position that he served in."

Keltner had served as a deputy for almost 13 years, and had served on the fugitive task force for five years.

Keltner lived in a quiet Crystal Lake subdivision. He was married with two young children, and was a graduate of Western Illinois University. He also came from a family of officers; his father and brother both work in DuPage County law enforcement.

"He would do anything for you. When I would go out of town, I'd just let him know and he'd keep an eye on the house," said neighbor Dale Schmidt.

"I know I see them outside on the weekends. He plays with the boys, little guys. I can't believe it. I cannot believe it," said neighbor Debra Delaney.

The processional that followed his body from the hospital to the coroner's office stretched for two miles.

"He's a dedicated guy. He's a dedicated family man, and he's just truly going to be missed," said Prim.

Rockford police and other officials gave an update on the shooting that killed a McHenry County deputy and what charges are being filed against the alleged shooter.

Brown got away by jumping out of a third floor window and then fled the scene in a Mercury Grand Marquis. He was later spotted traveling over 100 miles per hour southbound on I-55 while pointing a weapon out of his window at the police in pursuit.

The vehicle spun out near mile marker 133, between Bloomington and Springfield. Brown spent several hours barricaded inside his vehicle on I-55 before police set off flash-bangs near his car. He then surrendered to Illinois State Police.

He was taken to a hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The Winnebago State's Attorney's Office has filed first degree murder charges against Brown, and asked that he be given no bond.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern Illinois district earlier issued an arrest warrant for federal attempted murder and said those charges will upgraded to federal murder.

Officials are now waiting for Brown to be transferred back to Winnebago County.

A woman was found shot in the hotel room after Brown fled. Police said she was being treated and released at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Authorities said Thursday afternoon she was not shot by law enforcement, but by Brown.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker expressed his condolences to the officer's family in a tweet Thursday afternoon, saying, "The people of Illinois join the family of the fallen officer in mourning his loss, and with our deepest gratitude for his courageous service."

Governor JB Pritzker acknowledged the situation unfolding in Rockford before outlining his tax plan.


The suspect in the fatal shooting of a deputy in Rockford had a long criminal history, the I-Team found.

Brown is wanted on several warrants out of several counties, including Sangamon County, Champaign County and McLean County and the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Court records obtained by the I-Team show Brown has a lengthy criminal history, dating back to at least 1995. Nine orders of protection were filed against him by six different people in Sangamon County since 1998. The most recent order of protection was filed in June 2018.

In the order of protection filing from last June, the mother of Brown's child described how he had rammed her car, writing, "I honestly feel that Floyd will act on his threat to harm my life."

Brown's personal rogue's gallery of mugshots offered a time-lapse glimpse of his life since 1995. In Sangamon County alone there are 14 booking photos for a variety of crimes.

Floyd Brown's Mugshots Through The Years

Floyd Brown's mugshots through the years.

IDOC records show Brown has been convicted in felony cases in three different counties. He's been charged in other cases as well, but some of those were dismissed or pled down to lesser charges.

The parole violation warrant IDOC issued is connected to his 2018 parole for a 2011 downstate residential burglary. In 2001 he was convincted of being a felon in possession of a gun.

The McLean County Sheriff's Department said there is a warrant for Brown for armed robbery in Bloomington. The I-Team learned Brown was allegedly involved in burglaries before Christmas last year. When he was located by authorities at that time, he got into a vehicle and led police on a chase through several backyards without his headlights on and caused a crash involving several vehicles. He then allegedly fled on foot and was believed to be heading to his home in the Springfield area.

Thursday morning there would have been as many as a dozen or more deputy marshals, federal agents and locally assigned officers, according to law enforcement sources, who usually carry ballistic shields, wear body armor and helmets, and are armed with automatic weapons.

Since 2015, US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force teams have arrested nearly 100,000 people on the lam across the country. Shootings like the one Thursday morning don't happen often, though there have been a small number of deputies and officers killed in similar circumstances, including at least two last year.

Arresting fugitives is one of the most dangerous jobs in law enforcement.

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Earlier Thursday morning, a man who works at Rock Valley Garden Center, which is next door to Extended Stay America, said he saw 50-60 police officers surround the building.

An employee at the nearby Sleep Inn told the I-Team when she was taking out the garbage earlier, she heard, "Pow, pow, pow!"

She wasn't sure if it was gunfire, but a police car came roaring up. A short time later, a state trooper came into the motel to let guests know they had an ongoing active shooter situation.

Rockford is about 90 miles northwest of Chicago.