Floyd Brown, a Springfield parolee with a lengthy criminal history dating back years, was named as the suspect in the shooting of a local officer who was trying to serve a warrant at an Extended Stay America hotel in Rockford, Illinois. Authorities launched a manhunt after they say Brown, 39, of Springfield, Ill., fled the scene in a vehicle. They now have him under arrest.
The deputy – Jake Keltner – is with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, CBS Chicago reported. The McHenry County sheriff now says that Jacob Keltner has died.
The shooting broke out in the early morning hours of March 7, 2019, and was initially labeled an active shooter situation at the Extended Stay America hotel where the suspect was staying at Bell Road. The suspect was at large after allegedly shooting the deputy, who was part of a task force, authorities confirmed in a news conference. However, authorities later caught up to the suspect after he spun out during a high-speed pursuit, reports say. He was cornered in a vehicle, according to the Illinois State Police. They eventually used flash grenades to get him out.
He’s also accused of shooting a woman in the hotel room. Her condition is not clear.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Engaged in a Dramatic High-Speed Chase With Brown, Reports Say
Authorities caught up to Brown quickly, but a dangerous pursuit ensued, reports say. The Illinois State police released this statement: “ISP officers engaged in a pursuit with the suspect. The suspect is currently stationary inside of his vehicle on I-55 SB at MP 133 in Logan County. I-55 NB and SB 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.”
ABC 7 reported there was a high-speed chase going on with a gun being pointed out of the window. Journalist Brad Edwards wrote, “ISP actively in a high speed chase with Floyd Brown — potentially in a light blue or silver Mercury Grand Marquee — wanted in earlier Rockford / officer shooting. Brown has potentially shot at officers during chase. I-55 South.” Speeds reached up to 100 miles per hour, ABC 7 reported.
Brown’s vehicle then spun out, possibly into a creek, the television station reported, and it’s not clear whether Brown left on foot or not. He was described as an ex-con wanted by authorities who would be headed back to prison if he was arrested.
A source told journalist Brad Edwards: “suspect [Floyd Brown] believed to have high powered rifle, bullet travels 3000 ft. per second and will go through traditional body armor.”
2. Officers Came to the Hotel to Serve a Warrant With an U.S. Marshal’s Task Force
When officers came to serve a warrant, the gunman fired on them and then took off in a vehicle, authorities said. They said the license plate for his vehicle was possibly either BF13112 or a temporary Illinois plate of 4850256. He’s considered armed and dangerous and, thus, shouldn’t be approached if seen. The weapon was a rifle. A press release from Rockford police said that Rockford police responded to the Extended Stay America hotel for a call to assist U.S. Marshals agents in reference to a report of shots fired.
The deputy, who was assigned to a U.S. Marshal’s task force, was in critical condition, according to news reports. “We feel confident the threat is not in this immediate area but we can’t be sure,” authorities said in a news conference. “He (the shooter) left the room and fled in the vehicle.”
The Extended Stay America hotel with the active shooter reports is located just off of I-90 and Route 20. Rockford police wrote on Twitter early on, “RPD officers are on scene investigating an active shooter situation at the extended stay off N. Bell School Rd. Please avoid the area.” The ATF and FBI were also involved, and the scene was still active throughout the morning.
ABC 7 earlier reported via sources that “a local officer assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force was shot during a joint operation.”
One television station also reported that “a US Marshal was shot in the head” as he attempted to serve a warrant at the hotel. The shooter escaped through a window and “is currently at-large,” Fox 32 reported, also via sources.
A video posted by the television station showed a massive law enforcement response to the scene of the extended stay hotel. WKOW-TV reported that police were stationed at the Extended Stay America Hotel.
One man wrote on Twitter: “My wife is currently stuck in an active shooter situation at her job and I’m freaking out…They’re on lock down and the guy is still shooting..Cops have already been shot…Rockford Illinois.” Again, though, the details were not yet confirmed by authorities as the scene was still active.
3. Floyd Brown Has a Lengthy Criminal History
Reporter Rachel Droze indicated that Brown has an extensive criminal past.
“In Sangamon County’s court records online, suspected Rockford shooter Floyd Brown’s criminal history dates back to 1995. There are 142 entries. They range from criminal felonies to traffic violations,” she wrote on Twitter.
Heavy has reviewed those court records directly. You can find them here. There are pages of records, both traffic and criminal.
The most recent is a criminal disorderly conduct case from November 2018. There was an order of protection filed against him in June 2018. He faced an accusation of resisting an officer in 2017 and a series of felony charges in 2010 for things like vehicular invasion, aggravated battery, and endangering the life of a child. However, court records say the state dismissed all of the charges except for the endangering the life of a child accusation in the 2010 case, and he was sentenced to only 1 day in jail.
In 2009, he faced other felony charges for domestic violence battery and criminal damage to property. The state dismissed the charges. In 2008, he was accused of attempted residential burglary. Again, the charges were dismissed. He was accused of aggravated battery in 2007. He was convicted of battery and sentenced to pay a fine. In 2006, he was accused of telephone harassment. The case was dismissed. In 2005, he was accused of home invasion. He was found guilty of unlawful restraint in that case, according to court records. In 2004, he was found guilty of domestic battery and sentenced to 21 days in jail. In 2001, he was accused of reckless discharge of firearms. He was given probation and a short jail term, but there was a petition to revoke his probation. That’s just for starters. In 2000, he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a peace officer.
He was paroled in January 2018 on a residential burglary charge for which he received 13 years in prison.
The Illinois Department of Corrections indicates that Brown “was paroled in January 2018 from a 13-year sentence for nine charges of residential burglary. That sentence followed a 2 ½ year sentence in 2005 for one count of unlawful restraint and violation of an order of protection; and an 8-year sentence on a 2001 charge of felony possession of a firearm,” reports CBS Chicago.
“I am closely monitoring the active shooter incident in Rockford and urge members of the community to follow the instructions of local law enforcement. My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the officer shot, his family, first responders & residents affected by this situation,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
4. Brown Was Wanted for an Armed Robbery, Reports Say
The suspect’s fuller name is Floyd E. Brown of Springfield, Illinois, authorities said. They did not reveal what the warrant was for. However, journalist Mason Dowling reported that Brown was wanted for an armed robbery in Bloomington. Dowling alleged that the suspect was armed with an AK-47.
However, on his Department of Corrections page, records say: “Warrant Information PAROLE VIOLATION AND LOCAL WARRANT.”
Brown was believed to be driving in a light blue or silver Mercury Grand Marquis. The Wisconsin State Patrol also put out an alert urging people to watch for Floyd Brown.
5. People Were Asked to Avoid the Area & the FBI & ATF Were at the Scene
An ABC 7 reporter wrote, “UPDATE: FBI Chicago confirms they are responding to active shooter in Rockford. The FBI is providing assistance to local law enforcement at the scene.” A helicopter circled the area.
The ATF Chicago office wrote on Twitter, “Active shooter situation in Rockford, Illinois. ATF Chicago Field Division personnel are on scene. @ATF_Chicago will continue to update the situation, which is still active.”
This post is being updated as more information is learned about Floyd Brown.