SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) – Authorities say a man who killed one Texas police officer and wounded two others before killing himself was waiting in body armor to ambush them when they entered his home.
Bob Klett, the interim police chief of San Marcos, northeast of San Antonio, said Sunday that the officers were responding to a 911 call about a man in the home who had hit his wife and threatened other family members.
He says there was nothing that the three officers could have done to avoid the gunfire.
He says 31-year-old Officer Justin Putnam died at the scene and the two wounded officers remained hospitalized Sunday in critical but stable condition.
TEXAS (ABC News) – One police officer is dead and two others are injured after a shooting Saturday night in San Marcos, Texas.
The two injured officers are in critical condition, according to the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the state’s largest police union. The San Marcos Police Department said they were taken to Seton Medical Center in Kyle, Texas, for surgery.
Police said the suspect is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
“Please keep the Officers and their families in your prayers,” CLEAT said in a statement. “These officers are apart of the CLEAT Family and it hurts our hearts for our brothers and sisters in blue.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement, “Tonight’s shooting in San Marcos is a somber reminder of the service and sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day to keep us safe.”
“I am grateful for the swift action of the San Marcos Police Department in containing the threat and minimizing the loss of life,” the statement continued. “I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the officer killed and for those injured, and for the continued safety of all law enforcement officers who protect our communities.”
The shootings took place at an apartment complex in San Marcos, which is located in central Texas, about halfway between San Antonio and Austin.
The San Marcos Police Department said the officers were responding to a call of an assault/domestic disturbance.
Hays County sheriffs and San Marcos SWAT responded to the scene, Sheriff Gary Cutler told Austin ABC affiliate KVUE.
“We are devastated by news of the shootings in San Marcos,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers, their families, and the Hays County law enforcement community. As this investigation continues, this office will assist in any way needed.”
The officer is the 15th to die by gunfire in the U.S. this year. He is the first Texas law enforcement officer to die from a shooting that took place in 2020, though Liberty County Deputy Sheriff Richard Edward Whitten died in February after being paralyzed in a shooting in May 2019.