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

The two other officers involved in the deadly shooting were given the Police Purple Heart award

SAN MARCOS – The San Marcos community is still in mourning as they gathered to honor slain police officer Justin Putnam.

Sunday, April 18, marks one year since all Officer Putnam, Officers Franco Stewart and Justin Mueller were ambushed while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the Twin Lake Apartments on April 18, 2020.

Officer Putnam, 31, was killed in the shooting and Officers Stewart and Mueller were injured.

Officer Seal, with SMPD, a close friend and neighbor, spoke at the memorial on Officer Putnam’s legacy.

“Officer Justin Putnam joined the San Marcos Police Department November 3rd, 2014, and was the second SMPD officer to pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect his community,” said Seal.

Putnam served with SMPD for five and half years. Seal said Putnam was an excellent police officer and an extraordinary friend with a distinct level of commitment on and off duty.

“The way he treated people and the way he cared for the community, it was what he did, and he was good at it. I think he would be proud of himself,” said Seal.

Officer Stewart received the Medal of Honor and both he and Officer Mueller were given the Police Purple Heart for their acts of heroism and bravery in the line of duty.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT's Nightbeat. Jonathan speaks English and Spanish and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Previously, he worked in South Texas.