SAN MARCO, Texas - With hundreds of brothers and sisters in blue by his side, San Marcos police officer Kenneth Copeland was laid to rest on Wednesday.

"With his Topo Chico, his upbeat personality and his self-appointed role as an ambassador of goodwill in our community, he became the unofficial figurehead of the San Marcos police department patrol division," said San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp about Copeland. "In fact, they had a picture of him hanging in the report writing room and it's hanging in there still today. I suspect it will be there for a very long time."

There was a 43-mile procession from a San Marcos funeral home to the Community Bible Church in San Antonio for the officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Copeland, 58, died after a shooting on Dec. 4 while serving a search war warrant for Stewart Thomas Mettz in the El Camino subdivision of San Marcos. 

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Stapp described the incident as “an ambush type of situation, and Officer Copeland was struck several times.”

Mettz survived with a gunshot wound and is currently in a hospital. Neighbors said they were surprised to learn that Mettz was involved in the shooting.

Copeland was a 19-year veteran with the San Marcos Police Department and was the department’s first officer to die in the line of duty. He leaves behind a wife and four kids.

Donations can be made to the family by making checks payable to the San Marcos Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association. The memo line should be Ken Copeland. The checks can be dropped off or mailed to the San Marcos Police Department at 2300 South Interstate 35, San Marcos, Texas 78666.

The 100 Club of Central Texas is also collecting donations here: The department says it is not recommending any particular GoFundMe page or other fundraising account due to the difficulty verifying the authenticity of the accounts.