Off-Duty Stockton Police Officer Killed in Overnight Hit-and-Run Accident

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STOCKTON -- An off-duty Stockton Police Officer was killed in a hit-and-run in Escalon, according to officials.

Officer Justin Kepler is seen (second from the right) with his fellow Stockton Police officers in the group's 2012 swearing in ceremony. (Photo Courtesy: Stockton Police Department Facebook)

Officer Justin Kepler is seen (second from the right) with his fellow Stockton Police officers in the group's 2012 swearing in ceremony. (Photo Courtesy: Stockton Police Department Facebook)

Officer Justin Kepler was riding his personal motorcycle Saturday night when he was struck and killed by another driver, Stockton PD said on its Facebook page. The suspect in the accident was later arrested.

There are no details on what led up to the accident, and it's not clear whether alcohol was involved.

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones released a statement on the department's Facebook page Sunday afternoon mourning the loss of Kepler.

Last night, we lost an incredible man and an incredible police officer who faithfully served the community members of Stockton. He placed his life on the line for our protection and was taken from us in a tragic hit and run accident while he was off-duty. My heart goes to his family, his friends, and also our entire department. I want to thank the first responders, the Escalon Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol for locating and arresting the hit and run suspect. Let us all remember Justin as a protector and server of our community.

Chief Jones held a press conference Sunday afternoon to update the media on the accident, as well as to provide details on who Kepler was.

Kepler was hired by the Stockton Police Department in April 2012.

 

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