SAN MARCOS, Texas - Slain San Marcos Police Officer Justin Putnam received full honors during a public funeral Thursday, more than one year after his death. The service was delayed at his family's request, because of COVID-19.
Officer Putnam was ambushed responding to a domestic violence call on April 18, 2020, along with Officers Justin Mueller and Franco Stewart.
"Officer Putnam attempted to speak to the suspected offender… he was immediately met with repeated rifle fire. Under direct and rapid-fire and with no space to maneuver, Officer Putnam braved the ambush and returned fire. By returning fire, Officer Putnam gave his fellow officers the opportunity to survive the ambush. Putnam was struck at close range repeatedly, ultimately losing his life for the protection of others," said Chief Stan Stanridge.
Officers Mueller and Stewart have both recovered from life-threatening injuries. They have returned to duty at the San Marcos Police Department.
"[Putnam’s] the guy you want to have that badge," Putnam’s friend Glen Powell told mourners Thursday. "As a man, he was a protector. He was always standing up for people, protecting them."
Those looking to honor the life and legacy of Putnam are encouraged to make a charitable contribution in his name to the Hays-Caldwell Women's Center Transitional Housing Project.
"He was a lifetime of small acts of kindness and mercy. And when I think of Justin, I think of a particular twinkle in his eye, it was a twinkle of mischief," said Powell. "Everyone loved him, loved being around him. He had this Ferris Bueller quality to him. He was the football team captain, but he wasn’t the big speech sort of guy. He led by example. You wanted to be more like him. He had this magic about him. Just everything he touched turned to gold."
The 31-year-old Texas State graduate was killed just months before his fall wedding.
"He was living his dream, busy planning out the rest of his life with the woman of his dreams and enjoying every step of the journey," said his friend George Lattimore.