Court documents identify Officer Copeland's shooter

Stewart Thomas Mettz's home on Valero Drive. DAILY RECORD PHOTO BY COLTON ASHABRANNER

Legal documents filed in a Hays County court on Dec. 4 name the man who shot San Marcos Police Officer Ken Copeland dead on Monday.

Stewart Thomas Mettz, 51, had been accused of assaulting his mother-inlaw. When Mettz shot him, Copeland was serving a warrant for Mettz’s arrest on charges of assault causing bodily injury of a family member and assault of an elderly person causing bodily injury. The first charge is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, but injury to an elderly individual is a third degree felony.

According to the warrant, Mettz’s wife and her mother spoke to an SMPD detective and said that there had been “numerous physical altercations with Stewart being the aggressor.” The mother-in-law said that on Nov. 25, Mettz grabbed her by her shirt and neck, pulling her from his room and leaving scratches on her neck. Mettz’s mother-in-law told the detective that he had called her and said, “You had better not file charges or you know what will happen.” Mettz’s wife added that he had assaulted her in August after a verbal altercation.

At a press conference Monday night, SMPD Chief Chase Stapp had said that Copeland was serving a warrant for “a violent crime” but did not elaborate on the charges.

When Copeland and other officers arrived at Mettz’s house to serve the warrant, Mettz fired on the officer, hitting Copeland several times. One of Copeland’s colleagues rushed him to Central Texas Medical Center while other officers created a perimeter and called for reinforcements. Dozens of law enforcement units, including a helicopter from the Department of Public Safety, filled the quiet El Camino Real neighborhood where Mettz had lived on Monday afternoon. Eventually, Stapp said, Mettz was injured and surrendered peacefully.

A profile on LinkedIn shows that Mettz previously served as a transportation safety officer in the U.S. Army.

San Marcos Daily Record

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