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MORE INFO: ‘Ken was a hero. Today was his day off,’ says San Marcos police chief of officer slain Monday


6:30 p.m. update: San Marcos officials have identified the San Marcos police officer shot and killed while serving a warrant Monday afternoon as Kenneth Copeland. 

Copeland is the first San Marcos police officer to be killed in the line of duty, said San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp.

The incident happened Monday when Copeland and several officers were serving a warrant at a home at the El Camino Real subdivision, Stapp said. When they arrived, a man began firing at them, “much like an ambush-style situation,” he said. 

Copeland was shot multiple times and rushed in a patrol car by a fellow officer to Central Texas Medical Center, where Copeland was pronounced dead, Stapp said. 

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San Marcos/Hays County SWAT arrived to the scene and eventually the suspect exited the house and surrendered, Stapp said. The man had gunshot wounds, though it was unclear whether he had been shot by police or inflicted the injuries himself, he said. 

Police did not identify the suspect Monday and did not say whether he had a prior criminal history or what type of warrant officers were serving when the shooting happened. 

Copeland, who had served as a member of the Coast Guard, had a wife and four children, officials said. 

“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.”

Click here to see a Facebook Live video of San Marcos police officials providing more details about the Copeland’s death. 

5:45 p.m. update: Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement responding to the killing of a San Marcos police officer Monday afternoon, promising the shooter will receive “swift justice.” 

"Today we grieve for the family of the fallen San Marcos police officer, and we vow swift justice for the killer,” Abbott said. “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."

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also released a statement in connection with the officer’s shooting death. 

“Along with everyone learning of a San Marcos police officer’s murder today, I am deeply troubled and saddened,” Paxton said. “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.”

San Marcos police will provide an update to the shooting at 6:30 p.m. Follow the Statesman’s Facebook account for live video of the news conference. 

4:35 p.m. update: A San Marcos police officer was shot and killed Monday afternoon while serving a warrant in the El Camino Real subdivision, police officials confirmed. 

Officials have not identified the officer pending notification to next of kin. 

The officer was serving a warrant at the El Camino Real subdivision, on County Road 266 near El Camino Real Park, when he was shot multiple times, according to a San Marcos police news release. The exact address of the shooting was not immediately known. 

The officer was wearing a protective vest but died from his injuries at Central Texas Medical Center about 3:50 p.m., officials said. 

The shooter was shot and taken to an Austin hospital following a standoff with San Marcos/Hays County SWAT team, officials said. 

This is a developing story; check back for details.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported an incorrect address for the incident. It happened on Cottonwood Parkway.

Earlier: A San Marcos police officer was wounded while serving a warrant in the El Camino neighborhood, according to a police spokeswoman. 

San Marcos media outlets reported that the shooter was in custody.

KTSW News first reported the news of an officer being injured at 3:44 p.m.

The San Marcos Record published an online report a few minutes later saying that “a police officer was shot in a neighborhood near Bowie Elementary within the past hour.”

Both media outlets said homes were evacuated as San Marcos SWAT teams responded to the scene.

The Record said the shooter was holed up in a home with access to weapons.


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