Slain Montrose officer gave all to family and service
The Denver Post
MONTROSE – From his early teens, Sgt. David Kinterknecht dreamed of becoming a police officer.
At 14, he first volunteered with the Montrose Police Department through a program giving teens the chance to help with tasks like traffic control.
That stint as a volunteer eventually turned into full-time jobs in law enforcement, leading him back to his hometown of Montrose.
Grown into a broad-shouldered tower of a man, Kinterknecht, 41, easily intimidated troublemakers, but those close to him describe a gentle giant who called his teen daughters after every volleyball match or basketball game he missed.
His death Saturday during a standoff-turned-shootout in a tony golf-course neighborhood left the town in mourning Monday.
Montrose Police Department Cmdr. Gene Lillard remembers recruiting Kinterknecht, who became a field-training officer often tapped to show rookies the ropes.
“He was a large guy who came across as a tough guy, but he was a marshmallow,” Lillard said, pausing briefly to compose himself. “He loved his job, his children and his wife immensely. It’s a shock. We live in a very, very good community.”
The flags here and in surrounding towns flew at half staff Monday. Black bands shrouded the badges of police officers from many neighboring departments. And the shops and cafes buzzed with the news of the fallen policeman.
One of six patrol sergeants on a tightly knit force of 43, Kinterknecht was a well-known figure in this town of 40,500.
His daughters, 16-year-old Andrea and 12-year-old Amanda, said people would often stop and say “hello” to their dad when they walked together through town.
The pair, battling back tears Monday, said he was a jokester, who loved giving wet willies and charlie horses. He was the protector who ushered everyone to safety when he spotted a bear cub ambling by during a family trip into the mountains.
And he was dedicated, putting together model firetrucks with Amanda and offering Andrea moral support at a local swine show, just days before a bullet made it past his Kevlar vest.
His older sister Denise King called her kid brother “a teddy bear” who “never judged.”
“He was there for me,” said his sister. “He loved the service, liked to help people. He just had a giving heart. You could ask him for anything.”
Kinterknecht also volunteered as a firefighter, with a passion for the work that led to a room full of Dalmatian figurines, model trucks and other trinkets.
A Montrose native, Kinterknecht spent 19 years in law enforcement, 12 of them in his home town. He received a Life Saving Award in 1999 and a Medal of Meritorious Service in 2001, according to the department.
A domestic-violence call just outside the Cobble Creek subdivision Saturday evening led officers to a man who had barricaded himself into his garage. After about an hour, shots broke out, killing Kinterknecht and injuring two other officers.
Jessica Fender: 303-954-1244 or email@example.com
Funeral services for Montrose police Sgt. David Kinterknecht will be Friday at 10 a.m. in the Lloyd McMillan gymnasium at Montrose High School. There will be overflow seating and a television feed in the school’s old gymnasium. Burial will follow at Montrose’s Cedar Cemetery.
Donations are being accepted by mail or in person for the David J. Kinterknecht Benefit Fund at Montrose Bank, 200 N. Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401.
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