“He was ready, ready for them to come in and start firing immediately, and there was nothing they could do to avoid being shot,” Klett said.
He tentatively identified the shooter as a 45-year-old local man, Alfredo Perez de la Cruz, but he said he and the Texas Rangers were still working to confirm the man’s identity because he appeared to be using a different name. The criminal record is not immediately available.
He said the man was wearing body armor “as part of his preparations for the officers who arrived.”
The officers responded to the 911 call about a man in the apartment who had hit his wife and threatened other family members who were there.
After talking to family members in the parking lot, officers decided to enter the building because they believed the people inside were still in danger, Klett said. The suspect shot them with a shotgun as soon as they entered, he said.
After the initial shooting, the tactical team went to the apartment to confront the attacker and found him dead from a clear gunshot wound, Klett said. No family members were seriously injured.
Putnam, who died at the scene, survived by his fiance, said Klett, who stopped to hold back tears.
“We lost a good young man, a loyal officer and friend last night,” the chieftain said. “He understands what the police need for a community as diverse as San Marcos.”
Putnam was the second San Marcos officer to be killed in his second assignment, according to city officials. Sergeant Kenneth Copeland was shot and killed while serving orders in 2017.
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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