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Friends and neighbors remember slain San Marcos officer as devoted family man

Officer Ken Copeland didn't just earn the respect of the people he worked with, he earned the love of the neighbors he lived with. (CBS Austin)

Tuesday police held a procession for slain San Marcos Police Officer Ken Copeland. Officers escorted his body from the medical examiner's office in downtown Austin to the Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos.

Police and fire crews escorted his body down I-35. Banners and flags were draped on overpasses along the way.

But Officer Copeland didn't just earn the respect of the people he worked with, he earned the love of the neighbors he lived with. Gary Wittenborn lives across the street from the Copeland family. He shared, “We've been here for 25 years and he's been here for most of that time."

Wittenborn says he was in disbelief at hearing the news of Officer Copeland's death. "it was shock,” he said. “And then when the report said it happened in San Marcos I said, “My gosh, that's our Ken."

Back in San Marcos a floral tribute to Officer Copeland continues to grow inside the small lobby of the police station. And outside a totally Texas salute of funeral color bunting adorns a tree.

And San Marcos not only remembers Officer Copeland for his service but for his devotion to his family. Earl Studdard owns North Carolina Furniture Director. But 40 years ago he and Copeland were in high school together in Houston.

As a former lawman himself, Studdard can relate to hard life of being a police officer and having a family. He says, “I think most police officers spend way too much time away from family so you really have to make that time you spend with them special. And he has two kids that have special needs which requires a lot of his time."

Local police support groups are already stepping up to help Officer Copeland's family get through all this. And there will certainly be a lot of love coming their way in the days ahead.

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