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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Marion County Sheriff’s Office honors fallen deputy on anniversary of fatal shooting

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is remembering a deputy who was killed in the line of duty 19 years ago.

On February 7, 2004, MCSO received a call requesting a well-being check on 74-year-old Ivan Gotham. His son had contacted the sheriff’s office to advise that his father, Gotham, had become increasingly unstable.

Multiple deputies responded to the Pine Run community to check on Gotham’s well-being, including K-9 Deputy Brian Litz.

Marion County Sheriffs Office honors deputy killed in line of duty
MCSO Deputy Brian Litz and his K-9 partner (Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

When the deputies arrived at the residence, Gotham stood near the door with a handgun, which caused the deputies to retreat, according to MCSO.

Deputy Litz attempted to pass under the front window to get a better view of Gotham. Unfortunately, Gotham was watching the deputies from the above window, and he fired down at Deputy Litz, striking him in the neck.

Several deputies placed a bullet-proof shield over a portion of the window while another deputy attempted to pull Deputy Litz to safety. Deputy Litz did not survive his injuries.

The remaining deputies attempted to apprehend Gotham and a standoff ensued. MCSO stated that Gotham refused to drop his weapon and fired multiple shots at the deputies. The standoff came to an end when Gotham was fatally shot.

Deputy Litz was 35 years old at the time of his death, and he was survived by his wife and five-year-old son.

The MCSO Southwest District Office is located in the Deputy Brian Litz Building on Highway 200, and it was dedicated in memory of him in February 2005.

Marion County Sheriffs Office honors deputy killed in line of duty 1
The MCSO Southwest District Office was dedicated in memory of K-9 Deputy Brian Litz in 2005 (Photos: Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

“During your day, please take time to remember Brian and including his family and friends in your prayers,” stated the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in a social media post on Tuesday. “He touched the lives of many citizens in Marion County as well as all the men and women that worked with him at the Sheriff’s Office. Rest in Peace Brian – we miss you.”