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San Antonio officer writing traffic ticket outside police headquarters is shot to death

Det. Benjamin Marconi
This undated image released by the San Antonio Police Department shows 20-year police veteran, Det. Benjamin Marconi, 50.
(Associated Press)

A San Antonio police officer writing a traffic ticket was shot to death in his squad car Sunday outside of police headquarters by another driver who pulled up from behind, authorities said. 

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus identified the officer as Det. Benjamin Marconi, 50, a 20-year veteran of the force.

McManus said the suspect had not yet been apprehended Sunday night. He said he didn’t believe the suspect had any relationship to the original motorist who was pulled over, and that no motive had been identified.

“We consider this suspect to be extremely dangerous and a clear threat to law enforcement officers and the public,” McManus said.

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McManus said Marconi had pulled over a motorist and was inside his police vehicle writing a ticket when another driver pulled up behind him. That driver walked up to the officer’s driver-side window and shot him twice in the head, then walked back to his car and drove away, McManus said. 

Marconi was pronounced dead at a hospital.

McManus said investigators were looking into all leads and motives, including whether the attack could be related to an officer-involved shooting earlier Sunday in the city. In that incident, McManus said, police shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at officers outside an apartment following a seven-hour standoff.

“Hopefully, we’ll solve this one real quick,” McManus said.

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The Police Department posted a photo of a man on its Facebook page Sunday evening, saying “he might have information on the murder” of Marconi. Police asked for assistance in identifying the man, who is shown wearing a hat and walking in the photo.

Some streets downtown were blocked off with police tape as officials investigated the slaying.

The shooting came less than five months after a gunman in Dallas killed five officers who were working at a demonstration against the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. That was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Ten days after the Dallas attack, a man wearing a ski mask and armed with two rifles and a pistol killed three officers near a gas station and convenience store in Baton Rouge, La. This month, two Des Moines, Iowa-area police officers were fatally shot in separate ambush-style attacks while sitting in their patrol cars.

“It’s always difficult, especially in this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country,” McManus said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the slaying a “horrific act of violence.” Abbott said in a statement that “attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice.”

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor extended condolences to the family of the slain officer and the entire police force.

Later Sunday, a police sergeant in St. Louis was hospitalized in critical condition but was expected to survive after being shot in what the police chief called an “ambush.”

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Police Chief Sam Dotson said the 46-year-old officer was shot twice in the face but was able to talk.

Dotson said the officer was not involved in a call or a traffic stop but was sitting in traffic when another car pulled up alongside his marked police vehicle. The officer told police he heard at least two shots.

The suspect got away. Police were using helicopters, SWAT teams and other resources to search for the suspect.

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UPDATES:

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9 p.m.: This article was updated with information about a possible person of interest, background on an earlier officer-involved shooting in San Antonio and details of an unrelated attack on an officer in St. Louis.

3:30 p.m.: This article was updated with the officer’s identity, comments from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and background on other recent attacks targeting law enforcement.

This article was originally published at 11:45 a.m.


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