The City of San Marcos is mourning the first murder of a police officer in the city's long history, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The officer who was shot to death Monday afternoon while serving a warrant in the city's El Camino Real subdivision has been identified as Kenneth Copeland, 58. He was hit by a barrage of bullets, and despite wearing a protective vest, he was hit several times and died at Center Texas Medical Center.
"Ken Copeland is the first San Marcos Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty," Police Chief Chase Stapp said. "We're not accustomed to this."
The man who shot Copeland was shot during a brief standoff that followed the incident. He is hospitalized in Austin and, if he survives, will face capital murder charges.
Copeland had worked as a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy, as well as a prison guard in Texas and California. He had been with the San Marcos PD since 1998.
"Ken's a hero," Chief Stapp said. "He did it to provide for his kids, and because he knows we are shot handed and need the help."
Officer Copeland is survived by his wife and four sons.
He was also an active duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard, Corpus Christi sector, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Several Texas officials released statements on the murder.
This is the statement from Attorney General Ken Paxton:
“Along with everyone learning of a San Marcos police officer’s murder today, I am deeply troubled and saddened. Officers around our state courageously serve and deserve our utmost honor and respect, especially during this time. Please join Angela and me as we pray for the officer’s family, the people of San Marcos, and for our law enforcement officers around the state.”
Photo: Spectrum News