San Marcos police identify officers, suspect involved in fatal shooting

Chief Klett said there was nothing the officers could have done to avoid the gunfire


The San Marcos Police Department has identified the three officers and the suspect involved in a fatal shooting Saturday at the Twin Lake Villas Apartments.

Officer Justin Putnam, 31, was killed in the shooting and officers Franco Stewart and Justin Mueller were injured.

(From left to right) Officer Justin Mueller, Officer Justin Putnam, and Officer Franco Stewart. (KSAT)

The initial call to police was for a domestic disturbance and San Marcos Police Chief Bob Klett said the caller indicated the suspect hit his wife and that alcohol was involved.

The suspect ambushed officers inside of the residence with a rifle and starting shooting immediately when they entered, according to authorities.

Chief Klett said there was nothing the officers could have done to avoid the gunfire upon entry.

The shooter, identified as Alfredo Perez Delacruz, 45, of San Marcos, was found deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Alfredo Perez De La Cruz, 45, of San Marcos (KSAT)

Putnam was fatally wounded at the scene and the two other officers were injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.

He served with the department for five and a half years and leaves behind a fiancee. Putnam graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas State University, according to SMPD. HIs father is a veteran of the Austin Fire Department.

Our family in blue is mourning the loss of our fallen brother, Officer Justin R. Putnam, who was killed in the line of...

Posted by San Marcos Police Department on Sunday, April 19, 2020

Officers Stewart and Mueller are in critical condition, but stable after surgeries, according to Chief Klett.

Stewart also served with the McAllen Police Department and the U.S. Border Patrol before returning to street patrol, police said in a press release. Mueller joined SMPD as a telecommunications operator before moving up in the ranks to become a supervisor, the department reports.

The suspect is believed to have served under different aliases, according to police.

Donations are being accepted for the families of the officers and more information will be available on the San Marcos police’s Facebook page.

We’ll bring more updates as they become available.


One officer is dead and two other officers are injured after an officer-involved shooting in San Marcos, according to San Marcos Police Department.

Police say suspect is also dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The shooting happened at the Twin Lake Villas Apartments, located in the 2900 block of Hunter Road around 6 p.m.

Authorities received a call for an assault/domestic disturbance. After arriving on scene at the apartment complex, police say the suspect ambushed the officers with a rifle. The suspect then fatally shot an officer and injured two others, according to authorities.

The identity of the fallen officer has not yet been released.

The two surviving officers were taken to Ascension Seton Hays in Kyle, Texas, where they have undergone surgery. Officials say their families have been notified.

“We are heartbroken to make this announcement,” said Interim Police Chief Bob Klett in a statement. “We ask for your support for our fellow officers and their families as we try to cope with yet another tragic event in our San Marcos Police family."

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Residents in the area were asked to shelter in place, as the scene was not safe, police said. The shelter in place order was lifted around 7:43 p.m.

UPDATE 7:43 p.m.: The area has been secured and there is no additional threat to the public. Please continue to avoid...

Posted by San Marcos Police Department on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement after the shooting, saying he is grateful for the “swift action” of the police department to contain the threat. His full statement can be read below:

“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. 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," Abbott said.

This is the second line of duty death for the San Marcos Police Department since Officer Kenneth Copeland was fatally shot while serving a warrant on December 4, 2017, according to SMPD.

A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, April 19 at Fire Station 5. We’ll bring more updates as they become available.

About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.