San Marcos police officer shot and killed while serving warrant

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) - The San Marcos police officer shot and killed Monday afternoon has been identified as 58-year-old Kenneth Copeland.

Copeland, who had a wife and four children, was working on what would have been his day off, serving a warrant in the El Camino Real subdivision when he was shot multiple times, Chief of Police Chase Stapp said in an emotional news conference Monday evening.

The suspect, who surrendered to police following a standoff with the San Marcos/Hays County SWAT team, was shot and taken to South Austin Medical Center. Chief Stapp said that it’s unclear if the suspect’s injuries were self-inflicted or if he was shot by an officer. The suspect has yet to be identified.

Police say Copeland was wearing his protective vest. He was taken to Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos and pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m.

The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District says four area schools were placed on lockdown after the shooting; however, the incident happened after school was dismissed for the day at 3 p.m. The children who were waiting for their parents were kept inside. Children who were on school buses getting ready to leave for the day were brought back inside for the time being.

The lockdowns at the four schools — Bowie Elementary, DeZavala Elementary, Mendez Elementary and San Marcos High School — have since been lifted.

According to the online Officer Down Memorial Page, there is no previous record of a San Marcos police officer ever being killed in the line of duty.

In a statement, Gov. 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.”

Editor’s Note: The city of San Marcos initially said the shooting happened in the Cottonwood Creek subdivision, but later corrected that it happened in the El Camino Real subdivision. 

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