AUSTIN (KXAN) — Officer Kenneth Copeland, who died in the line of duty, will be laid to rest Dec. 13.
Copeland died while serving a warrant in San Marcos on Monday, Dec. 4 — what was supposed to be his day off. He volunteered for the extra shift to help his department. Police say the man accused of shooting him is disabled veteran Stewart Thomas Mettz, 51.
Officers escorted his body from the medical examiner’s office in Austin back to San Marcos Tuesday in a procession of police cars on the highway. Visitation will be Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the Thomason funeral home in San Marcos at 2001 Old Ranch Road 12. The next day, funeral services begin at 11 a.m. at the Community Bible Church at 2477 North Loop 1604 East in San Antonio. Various police departments have volunteered to help cover call or join the escort during Copeland’s memorial service.
Copeland leaves behind a wife and four children and had worked for the San Marcos Police Department for 19 years. He was the first officer in that department to be killed in the line of duty. Impromptu memorials have been set up at both the police station and outside the hospital where he died. Sandy Myers added to the latter Tuesday night, and said her husband was one of the officers who helped bring Copeland from the scene to the hospital. He and many others in the department are still reeling from the shooting.
“We all consider each other family even though we aren’t related by blood, we are related,” Myers said. “We all hurt when somebody is hurting and we all celebrate when someone is celebrating. They are a tight knit group of officers, from Chief Stapp all the way down.”
The 100 Club of Central Texas supports survivors of those whose first-responder family members are killed, and is helping Copeland’s family as well.