San Marcos Police Department
San Marcos police officer Kenneth Copeland died Monday afternoon while serving an arrest warrant in a violent crime case. The suspect shot and killed Copeland, 58, in what the police department called an "ambush-style situation." He is the first San Marcos police officer killed in the line of duty.
According to San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp, Copeland was working on his day off when he and several other officers delivered the warrant to a home in the El Camino Real subdivision. The unidentified suspect shot at all officers on the scene, but Copeland was the only one hit — and the bullets struck parts of his body unprotected by body armor. He was pronounced dead around 4 p.m.
After a standoff with the officers called to the scene, the suspect eventually surrendered and was taken into custody with a gunshot would that was not life-threatening. It's unknown if the injury was from an officer's gun or his own.
It's also unclear if the suspect who shot Copeland was also the subject of the arrest warrant.
At a Monday night press conference
, Stapp told reporters that Copeland had served with the U.S. Coast Guard and had been with the department for 19 years.
"Ken's a hero," Stapp said. "He worked just about every day off to provide for his kids and because he knows we're shorthanded and need the help."
Copeland leaves behind a wife and four children.