San Marcos to hold public memorial on anniversary of fallen police officer Justin Putnam’s death

Putnam was killed and two other SMPD officers were critically injured on April 18, 2020

KSAT file photo. (KSAT)

SAN MARCOS – The City of San Marcos will host a public memorial service on Sunday to honor officer Justin Putnam, who was killed last spring while investigating a domestic disturbance.

On April 18, 2020, Putnam and fellow officers Franco Stewart and Justin Mueller were ambushed and shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex in San Marcos.

Putnam died at the scene. Stewart and Mueller recovered from life-threatening injuries—both have since returned to duty.

According to city officials, Putnam grew up in Austin and attended Texas State University. He graduated with honors in 2011 and served as a San Marcos Police officer for five and a half years.

The memorial will begin at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday at the Five Mile Dam Park’s soccer complex, located at 4440 South Old Stagecoach Road. City officials say Putnam visited the park regularly with his dogs and the service will serve as a “joyful recognition of his service and will feature guest speakers and a moment of reflection.”

A formal funeral service with full honors will be held at a later date, city officials said.

“We think about Justin every day and the impact he had not only on our lives but on the lives of our community and the many young people he inspired,” said Director of Public Safety Chase Stapp. “We lost a true hero, friend, and dedicated public servant and we’re glad to finally join together to honor his contributions and ultimate sacrifice.”

The memorial service will be open to the public. City officials say that Congressman Chip Roy will be at the event to present flags to Stewart and Mueller. Attendees are encouraged to carpool if possible because parking space is limited.

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About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.