Police Officer Kenneth Malcolm Copeland

Police Officer Kenneth Malcolm Copeland

San Marcos Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Monday, December 4, 2017

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Kenneth Malcolm Copeland

Police Officer Ken Copeland was shot and killed while he and other officers attempted to serve a warrant in the El Camino Real neighborhood on a man wanted for a crime of violence.

The officers were ambushed at the man's home on Cottonwood Parkway, near Capistrano Drive. Officer Copeland, who was wearing a vest, was struck multiple times. He was transported in a patrol car to Central Texas Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.

The subject who shot him surrendered following a brief standoff with members of the regional SWAT team.

Officer Copeland, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, had served with the San Marcos Police Department for 19 years. His death marks the first time in the department’s history an officer was killed in the line of duty, according to the city’s police chief.

Officer Copeland was working an overtime shift on the day he was slain. He is survived by his wife and four children.

El Camino Real Park was renamed Kenneth M. Copeland Memorial Park in December 2020.


  • Age 58
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 432
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Arrested

ambush, warrant

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San Marcos park to be renamed after Kenneth Copeland, officer killed in the line of duty in 2017

Copeland was killed while serving a warrant in 2017

Posted on December 2, 2020

SAN MARCOS – City officials in San Marcos announced they are renaming a park to honor a police officer killed in the line of duty.

El Camino Real Park, located at 401 Cottonwood Parkway, will be renamed Kenneth M. Copeland Memorial Park.

Copeland was killed while serving a warrant in a San Marcos subdivision on Dec. 4, 2017. The suspect opened fire on Copeland and other officers, hitting and killing Copeland.

Copeland was the first San Marcos police officer to be killed in the line of duty in the department’s history.

This spring, officer Justin Putnam was killed and two others were wounded in a similar incident.

The park will be dedicated in Copeland’s honor at 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 4, however, the on-site ceremony will be limited to The City of San Marcos staff and Copeland family, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Retired Police Officer

December 2, 2020

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