A police officer has been fatally shot in San Antonio, Texas, and another in St. Louis was shot in the face but is expected to survive, in what authorities are calling the latest in a series of target attacks on law enforcement.
The San Antonio detective was writing out a traffic ticket when he 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.
Police said the search for a male suspect was still underway early Monday and that no arrest has been made. McManus said he doesn’t believe the suspect has any relationship to the original motorist who was pulled over, and that no motive has been identified.
The St. Louis police sergeant was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shot twice as he sat in traffic in a marked police vehicle about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
“This officer was driving down the road and was ambushed by an individual who pointed a gun at him from inside of his car and shot out the police officer’s window,” Police Chief Sam Dotson said during a news conference.
Dotson declined to name the 46-year-old officer, but said he is a married father of three who has been with the department for about 20 years.
“Fortunately, for the blessing of God, the officer’s going to survive,” Dotson said.
Police reported early Monday that the suspect, who was wanted for other violent crimes, was later killed in a shootout with police.
At least two other police officers were also shot in other cities Sunday night, but it wasn’t clear whether the incidents were targeted attacks.
An officer with the Gladstone, Missouri, police department near Kansas City was shot, while the suspect was shot and killed. A Sanibel, Florida, officer was shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop, and was treated for his injuries and released.
The attacks on police 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 of Marconi 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.”