Photo courtesy of the City of San Marcos
Public memorial to honor fallen SMPD officer Justin Putnam set for Sunday
The San Marcos community will be able to honor fallen officer Justin Putnam during a public memorial on Sunday at Five Mile Dam Park’s soccer complex.
Putnam, an Austin native who graduated from Texas State University in 2011, was an officer with SMPD for over five years. He was assigned to the patrol division, where the department said he excelled as Field Training Officer.
“We think about Justin every day and the impact he had not only on our lives but on the lives of our community and the many young people he inspired,” Director of Public Safety Chase Stapp said in a statement. “We lost a true hero, friend, and dedicated public servant and we’re glad to finally join together to honor his contributions and ultimate sacrifice.”
Putnam was killed in the line of duty on April 18, 2020 when he and San Marcos Police Department officers Franco Stewart and Justin Mueller were responding to a domestic disturbance call at Twin Lake Villas Apartments — 2917 Hunter Road. The three officers were ambushed and shot. Following the incident, the Texas Rangers identified the person who shot and killed Putnam and injured Stewart and Mueller as Jose Alfredo Perez DeLaCruz. He was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene.
Putnam died at the scene. Stewart and Mueller were rushed to Ascension Seton Hays in Kyle after sustaining life-threatening injuries.
Stewart and Mueller have recovered from their injuries and have returned to duty.
Sunday’s memorial will mark the one year anniversary of Putnam’s death. The event, which takes place 4440 South Old Stagecoach Road, will begin at 5:45 p.m.
City officials said Putnam regularly visited Five Mile Dam Park with his dogs. The memorial is open to the public. Congressman Chip Roy will be in attendance to present flags to Stewart and Mueller. The event will include guest speakers and a moment of reflection.
The City of San Marcos recommends those wanting to attend to carpool as parking space is limited.
A formal funeral service with full honors will be held at a later date, the city said.