Friends and others share memories, send prayers

San Marcos Police Officer Ken Copeland returned to San Marcos on Tuesday escorted by hundreds of area law enforcement officers. The procession included San Marcos Police, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Public Safety and the Austin Police Department. It started at the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office and ended at Thomason Funeral Home on Ranch Road 12. DAILY RECORD PHOTO BY ANITA MILLER

Ken Copeland

Editor’s note: The murder of SMPD Officer Ken Copeland sent ripples of shock and grief throughout the community and beyond. Here are comments from some people who knew him, and some who did not.

“All of us at the District Attorney’s Office are keeping Officer Copeland’s family in our minds and prayers. Our hearts go out to them, including his brother and sister officers who risk so much every day to keep our community safe. And we pledge to do everything in our power to see justice done for Ken Copeland and his families, both at home and on the job.”

-- Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau


“Ken was a good friend of mine and was one of the officers who visited and congratulated me when my son was born. Can’t do much better than that. He was always willing to help me when I needed staffing for events and would be the fi rst one to ask and offer help.”

-- Marty Manzi (SMPD retired)


“Every eight weeks or so, Ken would stop by my house and pull in the driveway and we would chat about everything. He, like me, loved arrowheads, was a collector of them — and every time he would find a new one, he would drive it by and show it off. I can still see in my minds eye the many times he would reach into his breast pocket and pull out a new flint point he’d found somewhere — or I would call him over to show him one of mine. He too was a windmill fan. He’s the only other person I know who has a windmill in his front yard down in New Braunfels. We had a lot of fun over the years comparing windmill stories and artifacts and memories. He was a good cat all around. And for a man in a profession that can eat away at your good spirit, he always shrugged it off and kept on laughing. Last night I cried as I watched Chief Stapp choke back his own tears during his press conference. At 2 a.m., I couldn’t sleep anymore. I went into my offi ce and went through all the drawers of my flat fi les looking for a picture of Ken that I know was taken near the time he was hired. I found it — held it for a moment running my finger over the image while I thanked God for letting me find it.”  

-- Carl Deal (SMPD retired)


“Chief Stapp’s statement from last night said it all. We lost a hero.”

-- Daniel Guerrero (former San Marcos Mayor)


“I did not personally know Officer Copeland and only spoke with him on a few occasions. It is such an unnecessary tragedy, and my heart goes out to his fellow officers and family. With heavy hearts, I can only hope this will bring our community together and help us find a path to more understanding and kindness as a society. These men and women put their lives at risk every day and night for us to live in a safer community. We have one of the best police departments in this nation and I am very proud to be a part of their team as we all should. I will continue to pray for all of our officers and Officer Copeland’s family during this difficult time.”

-- Lisa Prewitt, San Marcos City Council member


“Ken was a stellar officer and family man. He was dedicated to several families at home, in law enforcement, and in the military. It has been a pleasure to have served with him at San Marcos PD. He was a shining example. I just talked to Ken before Thanksgiving. We talked about his family and the triplets. He was doing so well and enjoying life. I did his background check for hiring at SMPD. NOBODY, not even his ex-wife, had a bad word to say about him. He will be greatly missed.

-- Sgt. Dan Misiaszek (SMPD retired)


“I am deeply saddened by the reckless murder that took the life of one of our courageous police officers. It is imperative that we unite as communities and as Texans against such egregious acts of violence against the brave men and women who serve and protect us daily. My family and I are praying for peace and comfort for the family of this fallen hero.”

-- State Rep. Jason Isaac


“Central Texas has lost a hero. Officer Ken Copeland, honored only months ago for his commitment to protecting San Marcos families with the Chief’s Recognition Award, was serving our community when he was shot. Not only did he regularly put his life on the line to protect San Marcos families, he also generously gave back to his community through volunteering his time to good causes like his work at Mendez Elementary. We grieve with his family in New Braunfels and honor his life of service.”

-- U.S. Rep.Lloyd Doggett


“Along with everyone learning of a San Marcos police officer’s murder today, I am deeply troubled and saddened. Officers around our state courageously serve and deserve our utmost honor and respect, especially during this time. Please join Angela and me as we pray for the officer’s family, the people of San Marcos and for our law enforcement officers around the state.”

-- Attorney General Ken Paxton


“Today we grieve for the family of the fallen San Marcos police officer, and we vow swift justice for the killer. The men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect and to serve our communities, and we will never forget their sacrifices. Cecilia and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the officer’s family and to the entire San Marcos Police Department.”

-- Gov. Greg Abbott

San Marcos Daily Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666