SAN ANTONIO, Texas — San Antonio Police announced Monday the arrest of a man suspected of targeting a 50-year-old police officer and killing him in his patrol car on Sunday.
Police Chief William McManus said a 31-year-old man was arrested in the death of Detective Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the department, who was shot in his patrol car near police headquarters.
The suspect was arrested around 4:30 p.m. Monday after the car he was driving was stopped on Interstate 10. McManus had said previously that dashcam video from Marconi’s patrol vehicle provided “a lot of information” for investigators about his death.
Marconi was shot as a he sat in his vehicle after making a traffic stop. Authorities have said a gunman walked up to Marconi’s driver’s-side window and fired.
Marconi was writing a ticket for a motorist at the time. Investigators have said that driver was not connected to the shooter.
“[When] Most families will be celebrating the holidays SAPD will be burying one of its own because of an ultimate act of cowardice by a suspect who will be caught and brought to justice,” McManus said.
Police were looking for the vehicle the suspect is believed to have fled in, a black sedan with chrome rims and dark covered windows. McManus described the suspect as a slim black man in his 20s or 30s in a gray shirt and gray pants.
“We consider the suspect to be extremely dangerous and a clear threat to law enforcement officers and the public,” he said.
The shooting occurred in front of police headquarters before noon, McManus said. Marconi had just pulled over a driver on the south side of the building and returned to his patrol car to write a ticket when the suspect pulled up behind him.
The suspect walked up to the patrol car driver window and shot the officer in the head, McManus said. The suspect then reached through the open window and shot him a second time, McManus said.
After the shooting the suspect returned to his vehicle and drove away.
Earlier Sunday, McManus likened the shooting to recent deaths of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Both of those incidents followed police-involved shootings of civilians that triggered protests nationwide. Police are investigating motive in this case, including a possible connection to a Sunday morning officer-involved shooting in Dallas, McManus said.
“Unfortunately, like Dallas like Baton Rouge, it’s happened here,” he said.
“It’s always difficult especially in this day and age where police are being targeted across the county,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll solve this one real quick, and if this individual is a danger to more police or anyone else we will try to get him off the street as soon as we can.”
San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor condemned the shooting and called for patience while the investigation continues.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the officer killed outside police headquarters today as well as to our entire police force. This type of crime cannot and will not be tolerated. I ask for the community’s thoughtfulness and patience as the investigation continues and SAPD searches for the suspect,” Taylor said.