City of San Marcos

San Marcos police officer shot, killed in line of duty

First officer in San Marcos history killed in the line of duty

December 04, 2017 - 4:45 pm

SAN MARCOS (KJCE) -- A San Marcos Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty Monday afternoon - the first in San Marcos' history.

58-year old Kenneth Copeland was serving an arrest warrant for a violent crime around 2:23 p.m. Monday in the El Camino Real subdivision, near Bowie Elementary School off of State Highway 123 in the southeast portion of the city.

Copeland had been with the department since 1998. He leaves behind his wife and four children.

Shortly after officers arrived, the suspect - who has not yet been identified - began firing at the officers. San Marcos Chief of Police Chase Stapp called it an "ambush" situation. The suspect shot Copeland several times. Although he was wearing his protective vest, Copeland was transported to Central Texas Medical Center shortly afterwards where the hospital staff worked to save his life. He was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m.

Police say the suspect is in custody following a SWAT standoff. He sustained a gunshot wound and was transported to South Austin Medical Center, where he remains under guard. At this time, police aren't certain if the suspect shot himself or if he was shot by an officer.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement on the killing late Monday evening, saying "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. Cecilia and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the officer’s family and to the entire San Marcos Police Department."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also commented, saying "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."

This is a developing story and will be updated as we get further information.

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