On Monday afternoon, a man fatally shot a San Marcos police officer. The shooting incident took place when the officer was attempting to arrest the man on charges related to a violent crime.
In a news conference, San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp said that 58-year-old officer Kenneth Copeland was fatally shot by the man while Copeland and a small contingent of officers were surrounded by a house in the El Camino Real subdivision at 2.23 p.m., the officers were there to arrest the man on a warrant.
Stapp said, “Ken’s a hero … today was his day off.” He said, “He worked just about every day off to provide for his kids because he knows that we’re short-handed and that we need help.”
He said that Copeland has become the first San Marcos police officer to be killed in on duty.
Stapp shared details of the fatal shooting during the news conference. He said, “Shortly after their arrival, it appears this individual began firing at the officers much like in an ambush-type situation.” He added that the police officers were there to arrest the man on violent crime charges.
According to the police, Copeland was wearing ballistic armor and he was struck multiple times. Stapp said that police officers pulled Copeland out of the area.
One police officers took him to the Central Texas Medical Center in a police car where the doctors pronounced him dead at 3:55 p.m.
While the other police officers were surrounded the house at the scene, they were hoping to talk the man out of the house. The Hays County-San Marcos joint SWAT and crisis negotiation teams were responding to the scene.
Stapp said, “He did later come out and surrender to officers and has been taken into custody.” He also mentioned that the man was also shot in the incident.
In a statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Today we grieve for the family of the fallen San Marcos police officer, and we vow swift justice for the killer. The men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect and to serve our communities, and we will never forget their sacrifices.”
Abbott added, “Cecilia and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the officer’s family and to the entire San Marcos Police Department.”