San Marcos, TX - San Marcos Police Officer Kenneth Copeland, 58, was murdered on Monday, Dec. 4.
Officer Copeland was working on what was supposed to be his day off, when he and other officers arrived to serve an arrest warrant for a violent crime.
The male suspect began firing at the officers, "much like in an ambush type of situation," according to San Marcos Chief of Police Chase Stapp.
Officer Copeland was wearing his ballistic vest when he was shot multiple times.
Another officer rushed him to Central Texas Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m., according to a statement from the City of San Marcos.
The suspect surrendered to police after a standoff with the San Marcos/Hays County SWAT team. He was found to have been shot and was transported to South Austin Medical Center where he's being guarded.
Chief Stapp said it's not clear if the suspect's injuries were self-inflicted or if he was shot by an officer.
His condition is unknown, and his name has not yet been released. Chief Stapp said he will be taken into custody when he's medically stable.
Chief Stapp described Officer Copeland as a hero, and said that he worked almost every day off “to provide for his kids and because he knows we’re short-handed and need the help. His picture’s hanging in different parts of this Police Department because everybody loved him."
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. Cecilia and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the officer’s family and to the entire San Marcos Police Department.”
Officer Copeland is survived by his wife and four children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of San Marcos Police Officer Copeland, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Kenneth Copeland, your life mattered.