Deputy mourned at vigil |

Deputy mourned at vigil

by Taylor Pettaway
Carson City Sheriff's Office Deputy Carl Howell's hat sits on a chair at a candlelight vigil in his honor Saturday night in the Capitol Grounds.
Brad Coman / Nevada Appeal | Brad Coman / Nevada Appeal

Thousands of citizens, law enforcement agents and public safety officers gathered Saturday night to remember the fallen Carson City Sheriff’s Office Deputy Carl Howell at a candlelight vigil held on the Capitol Grounds.

Howell was killed in the line of duty Saturday morning after deputies responded to calls that came in at 2:18 a.m. of a physical domestic disturbance at the 4100 block of Montez Drive.

Howell responded to the call and as he was talking to a woman, who had visible injuries, a male came out of the house and started shooting at the officer.

According to officials, Howell was able to return fire after being hit multiple times. Howell was transported to Carson Tahoe Hospital where he died from his injuries.

“Great man, father, husband, and warrior.”

Howell was a 9-year veteran of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. He leaves behind a wife and four children.

The suspect was identified as 30-year-old Jonathon Pope of Carson City. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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

The investigation was relinquished to Reno Police Department with cooperation from the Nevada Division of Investigation, Washoe County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab and Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.

“The men and women of this department are devastated,” Furlong said. “We are devastated not only because of the loss of our friend, but for the loss to his family and everyone who was so traumatized that night by the events that happened. So many people saw what is unthinkable in our society.”

At Saturday night’s vigil, at the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, hundreds were gathered on the grounds before 7 p.m. to place flowers on the memorial, pass out candles and console each other.

“We have been numb all day,” said Charae Kepler, the wife of a Carson City deputy. “All the guys were just working through it, and I think tonight will be the turning point when they come to the realization that it’s really happening.

“It has been quite impressive how our community comes together in a time of need,” Kepler added. “We got to see what this town is made of.”

At 8 p.m., the vigil attendees lit their candles and stood in silence as they waited for the processional to arrive.

“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.”

Hundreds of law enforcement vehicles from Carson, Lyon, Nevada Highway Patrol and many more led a processional from Dayton to Stagecoach to pick up Howell’s family members.

Officers from across Nevada and California posted on social media to share their condolences and express their grief for a “great man, father, husband, and warrior.”

After the crowd had a moment of silence and said a prayer, Mayor Robert Crowell and several law enforcement officers got up to speak to the family about their memories of Carl.

“I can’t tell you how much this means to us to have this community here to wrap its arms around us tonight,” Furlong said. “Last night was just a horrible night for us.”

The silence of the night was only interrupted by the sound of sniffles and singing as “Amazing Grace” was played on the bagpipes at the end of the ceremony.

“We will start on a path to recovery and we will never forget him,” Furlong said.

Flowers and memorials were left at the Carson City Sheriff’s Office in memory of Howell and American flags were draped over the V&T bridge.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Reno Police Department at 775-334-2188 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.

Contact the Carson City Sheriff’s Office at 775-887-2500 for information on funeral arrangements or donations to Deputy Howell’s family.