Chief: San Antonio officer fatally shot while writing ticket

Photo: San Antonio Police Department.
Photo: San Antonio Police Department.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A San Antonio police officer writing out a traffic ticket to a motorist was shot to death in his squad car Sunday outside police headquarters by another driver who pulled up from behind, authorities said.

San Antonio police Chief William McManus said the suspect is not known and has not yet been apprehended. A motive is not known.

“This is everyone’s worst nightmare,” he said.

McManus said Det. Benjamin Marconi had pulled over a vehicle and while he was inside his squad car writing a ticket, a car pulled up behind him. He says the driver of that car got out, walked up to Marconi’s driver-side window and shot him in the head. The man fired a second time, then walked back to his car and drove away, McManus said.

Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the force, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The shooting came less than five months after a gunman killed five officers in Dallas who were working a protest about the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. It 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, Louisiana. And earlier 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 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.

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

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