Chase Stapp, Chief of the San Marcos Police Department in Texas sadly reports the death of Officer Kenneth Copeland.
Officer Copeland, 58, along with other officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant on a suspect in the El Camino Real subdivision. When officers arrived in the area, the suspect commenced firing at them. One report indicated that the shooting was of an “ambush” setting.
Copeland was struck by the suspect’s gunfire multiple times. He was removed from the scene and transported to the Central Texas Medical Center for his injuries. He was wearing his protective vest, but was still injured by the suspect’s gunfire. The type of weapon used against the officer was not specified.
Copeland died of his gunshot wounds shortly after his arrival at the Medical Center.
After the shooting of Copeland, the suspect barricaded himself inside his residence. A stand off with the San Marcos/Hays County SWAT team resulted in the suspect eventually surrendering to officers. It was found that the suspect had sustained a gunshot wound during the gun battle.
The suspect was taken to South Austin Medical Center for treatment of his wound. He is under police guard at the hospital and will be taken to the jail following his release.
Copeland, who had served as a member of the Coast Guard, had a wife and four children, according to officials.
“Ken was a hero,” Stapp said. “Today was his day off. He worked just about every day off. To provide for his kids and because he knew we were short-handed and we need the help. There are pictures (of him) hanging in different parts of this department because everybody loved him.”
Copeland is the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in the history of the San Marcos Police Department. His wife and children survive him.
Copeland was working overtime on the day of the shooting, as the department is short staffed.
A total of fourteen officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty in the State of Texas this year.
Governor Abbott issued the following statement:
“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.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement as well:
“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.”
Officer Kenneth Copeland is gone, but will never be forgotten EOW: Monday, December 4, 2017.
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