SAN ANTONIO -- After a massive manhunt, police in San Antonio have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of an officer who the chief said was targeted because of his uniform.
The San Antonio detective writing out a traffic ticket to a motorist was shot to death in his squad car late Sunday morning outside police headquarters by another driver who pulled up from behind, authorities said.
San Antonio police Chief William McManus identified the officer as Benjamin Marconi, 50, a 20-year veteran of the force.
The 31-year-old suspect was arrested Monday afternoon driving in a car with a woman and a two-year-old child, McManus said. He was taken into custody by a SWAT team and no one was injured, McManus said.
McManus said a 31-year-old man, Otis Tyrone McKane, was arrested without incident after the car he was driving was stopped Monday afternoon on an interstate.
McManus said earlier that he doesn’t believe the suspect has any relationship to the motorist who was pulled over initially.
Sunday evening, police posted a picture of a person they said they were hoping to identify in connection with the case. Police also released video of the person via their Facebook page on Monday, calling him a suspect and showing him apparently entering the public safety headquarters. McManus said the suspect they arrested is believed to be the person seen in the video.
Marconi was among four officers shot across the nation Sunday. A St. Louis sergeant shot in the face was also believed to have been targeted because he was a police officer. He was released from the hospital Monday.
Speaking at a Monday morning press conference, McManus said investigators have “several ideas” about why the suspect may have been at the headquarters, but wouldn’t detail them.The suspect asked a desk clerk a question but left before receiving an answer, said McManus, who declined to say what the man asked. Police also released a photo of the suspect’s car, which they believe is a 2009-2015 black Mitsubishi Galant with custom rims.
The suspect was driving a different car at the time of his arrest, McManus said.
McManus declined to explain why police believe the man shot Marconi, saying he didn’t want to jeopardize the ongoing investigation.
CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS-TV reports Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, knew Marconi personally. He said Marconi leaves behind two adult children.
“Ben was a great guy. People loved him, and certainly, he had an aura about him,” Helle said. “You had to go out of your way to not like him. So he’s that good of a guy.”
McManus said he doesn’t believe the suspect has any relationship to the original motorist who was pulled over, and no motive has been identified. The original motorist was questioned and released, McManus said.
McManus said he believed Marconi was slain because he was a police officer.
“I think the uniform was the target, and the first person who happened along was the person he targeted,” McManus said.
Sunday’s fatal shooting in San Antonio 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.