San Marcos police officer killed in 'ambush type' shooting identified and called a hero


UPDATE: Fallen officer Kenneth Copeland’s body will be escorted from the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office to Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos Tuesday afternoon.

Law enforcement and Fire agencies from the area will contribute vehicles, drape banners and flags from overpasses along the route in honor of the fallen officer.

The escort will travel southbound on I-35 to Wonder World Drive then onto Ranch Road 12 around 3:30 p.m. 

The San Marcos Police officer shot and killed in the line of duty has been identified as 58-year-old Kenneth Copeland.

On Monday afternoon Copeland was serving an arrest warrant for a violent crime around 2:23 p.m. in the El Camino Real subdivision when he was shot multiple times, said Chief of Police Chase Stapp during an emotional news conference held Monday evening.  

Shortly after officers arrived, a male suspect began firing at officers. 

"Much like an ambush type of situation,"  said Stapp. 

The shooting happened near Bowie Elementary School located at 4020 Monterey Oak said police. 

According to police the suspect surrendered during the SWAT standoff. The suspect sustained a gunshot wound during the standoff. 

Stapp said it's still unclear if the suspect was shot during the SWAT standoff by an officer or if it was a self-inflicted.  The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital in Austin said police.  The suspect's name has not yet been released. 

According to Stapp officer Copeland was wearing a protective vest when he was shot multiple times. He was transported to the Central Texas Medical Center immediately after where he later died. 

During the press conference Stapp said Copeland served the San Marcos Police Department for 19-years. 

He was described by Stapp and fellow officers as being a hero. 

"Ken's a hero. Today was his day off he worked just about every day off to provide for his kids and because he knows that we are short-handed and need the help. His picture's is hanging in different parts of this police department because everybody loved him," said Stapp. 

Stapp also said Copeland was the first police officer in the department's history to be killed in the line of duty. 

He leaves behind a wife and four children. 

Governor Abbott  issued the following statement Monday after an officer was shot and killed in the line of duty:


 "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 officers family and to the entire San Marcos Police Department."

FOX 7 Austin News has a crew en route and will update story as details develop. 

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