Amid snowfall, San Marcos community honors slain Officer Ken Copeland


The city of San Marcos held a candlelight vigil for officer Kenneth Copeland, who was shot and killed Monday.

City officials and a pastor who knew Copeland led the vigil.

As a crowd of people filled the grounds outside the Hays County historic courthouse on Thursday evening to honor and remember slain San Marcos police offficer Kenneth Copeland, snow flurries began to fall. By the end of the vigil, those in attendance were surrounded by a thin blanket of snow, illuminated by Christmas lights.

“I think the snow is a sign” that Copeland was with them at the vigil, Mayor John Thomaides said to the crowd.

Thomaides said the San Marcos community has come together since Copeland’s shooting death Monday to grieve “for the loss of one of our own.”

“Tragedy will test us, but our strength will define us. Bad people will not break us, no matter what they do,” Thomaides said, to several cries of “Amen!” from the crowd.

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After the vigil, San Marcos police officer Donald Lee said he agreed with Thomaides’ thoughts.

“We’re fortunate to live in a community with real strong support,” Lee said, who added that police officers know the threat of death is “the reality of the world we live in.”

Pastor Robin Steele of PromiseLand Church in San Marcos also spoke at Thursday’s vigil. Copeland had worked part-time providing security at the church for the past few years.

“He always went beyond the line of duty — connecting with kids and families, being a quintessential peace officer who everyone hopes they have,” Steele said after the vigil. “He was someone who brought peace and protection. That’s why there’s hundreds of people who came out here today in the snow.”