SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Justin Putnam, the police officer killed in a shooting in San Marcos late on Saturday night, has been remembered as a “protector” who loved his family.
Putnam and his colleagues Franco Stewart and Justin Mueller were shot after they responded to a domestic violence call at Twin Lake Villas Apartments that quickly turned into an active shooter situation.
Stewart and Mueller were seriously injured and are recovering at Ascension Seton Hays after undergoing surgery. Both men are in a critical, but stable condition. Putnam, a 31-year-old Texas State graduate, was fatally wounded at the scene.
The suspect, 46-year-old Alfredo Perez Delacruz, died at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
During a press conference Saturday morning, Bob Klett, interim police chief at the San Marcos Police Department, described the incident as an “ambush”.
“We lost a fine young man, a faithful officer and a friend,” Klett said of Putnam. “He understood what it took to police a wonderfully diverse community like San Marcos.”
Later on Saturday, Putnam’s sister, Kelsea, said he “was the best big brother a girl could ask for.”
She told KXAN that he was due to marry his fiancee in November.
“Joining the police force was no shock for us because it’s what he has always done, protecting people,” she added.
Kelsea Putnam’s full tribute to her brother is below.
“Justin was the best big brother a girl could ask for. From the time I was born he was my protector. He was the oldest brother and took this responsibility as an honor. Joining the police force was no shock for us because it’s what he has always done, protecting people. He loved his family and dogs so much. His dogs were his babies and he always tucked them into his bed next to him to sleep. He was set to get married in November to his fiancée and girlfriend of 10 years. I was so excited to be a bridesmaid and stand up there next to him as he married the love of his life. I never imagined this could happen. He was so strong.”Kelsea Putnam
The San Marcos Police Department said members of the public can leave memorials to Putnam around his patrol car, which will be parked at City Hall, 630 East Hopkins Street, near the police and firefighter statues.
For information on donation opportunities, the public is encouraged to follow SMPD on Facebook.