San Antonio Police have arrested a suspect after an officer was ambushed and shot dead Sunday morning during a traffic stop near the department’s headquarters.
The gunman pulled up on Detective Benjamin Marconi’s patrol car after the 50-year-old officer stopped another vehicle, Police Chief William McManus said at a press briefing. Police believe the vehicle originally stopped by the officer was not involved in the shooting.
The suspect, 31-year-old San Antonio resident Otis Tyrone McKane, was arrested without incident Monday afternoon, McManus said.
The chief said while most families will be celebrating the holidays, Marconi’s family and the department will be burying one of their own because of an “act of cowardice.”
Marconi was one of four police officers shot in the line of duty Sunday across the country. The three other shootings had similarities to the Marconi shooting.
A St.Louis Police sergeant was shot in the face by a gunman in a car while conducting a traffic stop on an unrelated vehicle, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The sergeant was in critical, but stable, condition Sunday night. The gunman in that shooting has not been caught.
An officer was shot in the shoulder in a drive-by shooting on the small Florida island of Sanibel, The News-Press reports. The officer, the first to be shot in the line of duty in Sanibel’s history, is expected to survive. He was also on a traffic stop and was shot by a driver in another car. A suspect is in custody.
The fourth officer was shot Sunday night in Gladstone, Missouri, according to KCTV. The officer is expected to survive. A suspect was also shot, and his condition was not immediately known. Few details about that shooting have been made public, but according to the Post-Dispatch, the officer was also on a traffic stop when he was shot.
Here’s what you need to know about the shooting death of Detective Ben Marconi in San Antonio:
1. The Gunman Fired Through the Window of Marconi’s Car as He Was Writing a Ticket, the Police Chief Says
Detective Benjamin Marconi pulled over a vehicle for a routine traffic stop near the San Antonio Police Department’s headquarters just before noon Sunday, KSAT-TV reports.
Police have not said why Marconi stopped the car, and have not identified the driver of the vehicle he pulled over.
The shooting occurred about 11:40 a.m.
Police Chief William McManus told reporters the officer was in his patrol car writing a traffic citation when the gunman drove up near him. The shooter got out of his car, walked up to the patrol car and fired once into the vehicle, McManus said. He then reached into the car and fired a second time.
McManus said the officer was shot twice, including at least once in the head.
Police released a photo of a person of interest in the shooting, which you can see below:
Police said later Monday that the man in the photo is Otis McKane, the suspect in custody.
Surveillance video showing the man walking into the public safety headquarters prior to the shooting was released Monday morning:
“The San Antonio Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying the person pictured. He might have information on the death of the San Antonio Police Officer,” the department said.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that officers were searching the area near the police headquarters and surrounding buildings for the gunman. Homicide detectives were interviewing witnesses near a bus stop or on a bus near the shooting, the newspaper reports.
With the suspect at large, police officers in San Antonio will not be making traffic stops alone, McManus said. An officer will be called to provide cover for any stops. Officers are also being encouraged to ride in pairs.
2. The Shooter Fled From the Scene in a Black Car, Police Say
San Antonio Police said the suspect fled from the scene in a black vehicle. Chief William McManus said at a press conference the car was possibly a Nissan or Toyota, while others have said it appears to be a Mitsubishi Galant. You can see a photo of the car above and below:
The vehicle was recovered Monday, McManus said.
McManus said the shooter drove through the police department’s parking lot to escape from the scene.
The car has large six-spoke black on chrome rims, according to police.
The shooting came several hours after a man was fatally shot by police in San Antonio, but investigators have not linked the two incidents.
In that shooting, a man was killed after police said he pointed a gun at officers following a seven-hour standoff at his ex-girlfriend’s home, KSAT-TV reports.
3. Marconi, a 20-Year Veteran, Was the Son of a San Antonio Police Detective & Father of 2 Children
Detective Ben Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the police department, was rushed to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, KSAT-TV reports.
Police Chief William McManus said he was planning to meet with the family of the slain officer at the hospital after the press briefing Sunday afternoon.
Marconi was the father of two children, who are in their 20s, and became a grandfather earlier this year. He shared a photo on Twitter with his grandson on Father’s Day:
Marconi’s late father, James Marconi, was a San Antonio police officer for 32 years, retiring as a detective investigator.
4. Investigators Do Not Have a Motive for the Killing Yet, the Chief Says
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said investigators have not yet determined a motive for the shooting.
“Right now we are looking for a possible motive. We are looking for video footage that may help us identity this individual,” McManus said, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “It’s always difficult, especially in this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country.”
He called the shooting “everyone’s worst nightmare. You never want to see this happen.”
San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor offered condolences to the officer’s family and the members of the city’s police department.
“This type of crime cannot and will not be tolerated,” she said in a statement. “I ask for the community’s thoughtfulness and patience as the investigation continues.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also offered condolences and condemned the “horrific act of violence,” in a statement posted on Twitter.
“We ask that all Texans join us in praying for the officer’s loved ones as they deal with the aftermath of this unimaginable tragedy,” Abbott said. “Attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice, which is why I look forward to signing my Police Protection Act into law — making targeted attacks against law enforcement a hate crime.”
5. Marconi Is the 7th Officer to be Shot & Killed in the Line of Duty in Texas This Year
Detective Ben Marconi is the seventh officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in Texas this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. There have been 57 officers killed by gunfire nationwide.
Five of the Texas officers were killed during the attack on Dallas Police at a protest in July. Dallas Police Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Sergeant Michael Smith and Officers Patricio Zamarripa and Michael Krol were killed along with Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus referenced the Dallas shooting, along with the ambush killings of three Baton Rouge police officers, during a press briefing Sunday afternoon.
“Unfortunately like Dallas like Baton Rouge it’s happened here,” McManus said.
After the shooting in Dallas, Marconi tweeted a photo of a T-shirt with a message saying the San Antonio Police Department stands with the Dallas officers. Proceeds from sales of the shirt went to the fallen officers’ families.
The other Texas officer was killed in March.
Euless Police Officer David Hofer was shot and killed while responding to a shots fired call.
Marconi is the first officer shot and killed in the line of duty in San Antonio since December 2013, when Officer Robert Deckard Jr. was shot while chasing robbery suspects, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Marconi is the 33rd officer fatally shot in the line of duty in the department’s history.