‘All the officers were broke': San Marcos mourning fallen officer
Flags throughout the City of San Marcos flew at half staff on a dark and gloomy Tuesday, matching the mood at the San Marcos Police Department where dozens of people dropped by all day.
A steady stream of well wishers brought flowers and prayers to the memorial of San Marcos Officer Kenneth Copeland. He died in an "ambush-style shooting" while he served a warrant on Monday.
The memorial is visible as soon as you walk in the lobby.
One of the many visitors was Sandy Myer, who is married to a San Marcos police officer. She said she was at the Central Texas Medical Center where Copeland died.
"I was in the ER. They had already called it at that point, but every nurse, doctor -- they were in tears," Myer said. "And all the officers -- my big, big officers, were broke. They were all crying and they were all in a line in front of Officer Copeland's room. And nobody was saying a word but the tension in the air was thick," Myer said.
Myer said it will take a long time for her family in blue to heal, referring to her extended law enforcement family.
Others who stopped by the memorial included Daniel Sievert, who originally drove from California to Sutherland Springs to comfort those affected by the shootings. He's with the group, Golden Missions of America. He brought his specially-trained comfort dogs, Jake and Emerson.
The dogs instantly comforted one of the police department employees who became emotional. She told Sievert how Officer Copeland's loss has been hard on the dispatchers.
"Their special training is coming alongside the hurting. They have a very deep sense for the hurting and in the matters of the heart," Sievert said.
Sievert was in Sutherland Springs when he turned on the news Monday night. He came to San Marcos after learning that Officer Copeland died after serving a warrant in the El Camino Real subdivision. Police said Copeland was shot several times.
Clark Moreland lives across the street where in the daylight, the neighborhood didn't have the scars from the night before.
"The thing I still struggle with is that there was a police officer who is a husband and a father who doesn't get to do that. We're all like, 'Nothing happened,' and get to go back and he doesn't," Moreland said.
Church members at Promiseland Church in San Marcos have fond memories of Officer Copeland as well. Copeland worked as security at the church for three years. KVUE spoke with senior pastor Robin Steele Tuesday.
"It's interesting to see how someone like that can have an impact even when it wasn't a formal relationship. He was a security guy, but he was more than a security guy. He was very personable," Steele said.
Several members of Promiseland church plan to hold a vigil for Officer Copeland Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the San Marcos Square.
Tami Baker with the 100 Club of Central Texas visited with the Copeland family on Tuesday. The non-profit provides immediate financial and emotional support to the families of fallen first responders. That's her job.
But this time, it's personal for Baker.
She met Officer Copeland the same day she met her husband some-29 years ago. They were in the same fraternity together. She has fond memories of him.
"Funny, and very compassionate. I would say, just like what everybody has said about him. Salt of the earth, a great guy," Baker said.
Soon, Officer Copeland will be added to the 100 Club of Central Texas memorial hanging on the wall.
Another name on this growing list of fallen heroes.