Man accused of killing San Marcos officer faces capital murder charge

A SWAT truck involved in the officer involved shooting in the El Camino Real neighborhood on Dec. 4, 2017. (CNN)
A SWAT truck involved in the officer involved shooting in the El Camino Real neighborhood on Dec. 4, 2017. (CNN)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The San Marcos Police Department has identified the man accused of shooting and killing Officer Kenneth Copeland as Stewart Thomas Mettz. He faces a Capital Murder charge in the case.

Mettz, 51, owns the home at 177 Valero Dr., which is in the El Camino Real subdivision in southern San Marcos, off of Old Bastrop Road, according to the Hays County Appraisal District. The home listing shows Mettz is a disabled veteran.

Officers went to that home at 2:23 p.m. Monday to serve a felony arrest warrant. When Copeland and other officers knocked on the door “Mettz opened up the front door and began firing an unknown caliber firearm at Officers,” according to the affidavit. Copeland was hit twice in the chest, and officers worked to get him out of the area while also firing back at Mettz, hitting him once in the side.

According to dispatch logs, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office was called to assist at the home at 2:47 p.m. One minute later, the SWAT team was called in to help. Mettz eventually came out and officers arrested him.

A spokesperson for St. David’s South Austin Medical Center says Mettz is currently in fair condition as of Tuesday morning.

The arrest warrant the officers went to serve was filed on Dec. 4 and accused Mettz of injury to an elderly person–family violence. The warrant indicates Mettz assaulted his wife and mother-in-law in two separate incidents over the past few months. According to court documents, Mettz called his mother-in-law after an incident on Nov. 25 and said, “You had better not file charges or you know what will happen.”

On Nov. 26, Mettz wife and mother-in-law came to the San Marcos Police Department to report the alleged assaults. The mother-in-law had been living with the couple for the past year-and-a-half and advised there had been “numerous physical altercations with Stewart being the aggressor.”

The officer who met with the women indicated it appeared they were scared of Mettz. Both women told police they never reported any previous incidents because they were scared of Mettz.

House where San Marcos police officer was shot and killed. (KXAN Photo)
House where San Marcos police officer was shot and killed. (KXAN Photo)

KXAN could find no criminal record for Mettz in Texas, aside from a minor ticket for blocking a handicap access, which was dismissed in 2016. Police said they were serving the arrest warrant on Mettz when the shots rang out.

Mettz appears to have family in Blackfoot, Idaho, and he moved around the country, including Texas and New Mexico, prior to settling in San Marcos.

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