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gun crime

Police Officer was Shot in San Marcos

By Peek & Toland on May 29, 2018

Texas has seen a series of fatal police officer shootings over the last two years. However, when a police officer was recently shot in San Marcos it represented the first officer killed in the line of duty in the police department’s history.

Kenneth Copeland, a 58-year-old veteran was tragically killed in December 2017. He was serving an arrest warrant for a violent crime, reported KXAN.

Police said shortly after officers arrived at a home in the El Camino Real subdivision a man started firing at them. Copeland who was wearing a protective vest was shot in San Marcos numerous times and succumbed to his injuries. He was working on what should have been his day off.

Police officer shot in San Marcos

Police officer was shot in San Marcos

Chief of Police Chase Stapp said another officer took Copeland to the Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos, where medical staff tried to save his life. The officer was pronounced dead later on the same day.

The suspect surrendered to police after a standoff with the San Marcos/Hays County SWAT team. He suffered a gunshot wound and was taken to South Austin Medical Center where he was under guard.

The police said Copeland worked just about every day off to provide for his four kids and because the department was shorthanded. Shootings directed against police are common in Texas. Earlier this year, three officers were hurt in a convenience store shootout in Laredo. In July 2016, a sniper in Dallas shot five police officers dead during a Black Lives Matter rally.

The massacre led the state of Texas to pass a law that makes all targeted crimes against police officers or other emergency responders hate crimes.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said it was his intention to create a culture of respect for law enforcement. He backed a campaign to educate young Texans on the value police officers bring to communities.

Under the legislation, the penalties for threatening peace officers or judges were upped from a misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in prison.

Crimes against police officers have continued. In July, a police officer was fatally shot in San Antonio and another was seriously injured.

If you have been charged with a crime against a police officer or another hate crime, you should contact an Austin criminal defense lawyer. Call us today at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense

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Gun Crime in Austin Exceeds 2015 Tally

By Peek & Toland on November 14, 2016

Three deadly shootings in Austin in the space of 10 days drew attention to rising levels of gun crime in the city.

A report on KVUE News noted the upsurge of shootings in the city this year. On Aug. 8, a 58-year-old woman died when shots were fired outside a North Austin business on Wagon Trail. Three other people suffered injuries in the incident.

Two other fatal shootings occurred within days of each other in East Austin. On Aug. 11 a fatal shooting was reported on Elmira Road. Manor Road was the scene of another fatal shooting three days later. Police made arrests in both cases.

Gun crime in Austin exceeds 2015 ;levels

At the end of August, a man received serious injuries when he was shot near the 700 block of East Rundberg Lane in North Austin.

In September, a man was killed in Austin in a gun fight with police officers, reported The Statesman.

Sgt. Jerry Bauzon of Austin Police Division Homicide Unit said the city is lucky in that it avoids the levels of violent crime experienced in many other places. Austin averages about 25 to 30 shooting deaths a year.

However, by August, Austin exceeded 17 homicides recorded in 2015, suggesting levels of gun crime are rising.

KVUE spoke to Misha Jones, whose home is near Wagon Trail. She fears more violent crimes in the area and called for more police patrols.

Gun Crime is a Felony Offense

Gun crime is treated seriously in Texas. Even possession of a banned firearm is a third-degree felony.

If you take a life with a gun, you will likely face a murder or manslaughter charge. We define murder here on our website. If the prosecution asserts you intended to hurt the victim, or, were aware you committed an act that was “clearly dangerous to human life,” you will face a murder charge.

Murder charges can also be brought if a death occurs when you are committing a felony. An example would be a fatal shooting during a robbery. Even if there was no intent to kill a victim, a perpetrator would face a murder charge if a death resulted.

Gun crime is taken very seriously. If you have been charged with murder, you should contact an experienced Austin murder defense attorney as soon as possible. Call us for a confidential consultation at (512) 474-4445.

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