A San Antonio police officer was shot and killed while writing a traffic ticket, a shooting that officials indicated appeared to be a targeted attack.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told the press that while the officer was writing a ticket, someone pulled up behind the squad car, stepped out of his vehicle and shot the officer twice, once in the head. The shooter then drove off.
“It’s always difficult, especially in this this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country,” McManus said.
“Unfortunately, like Dallas, like Baton Rouge, it’s happened here,” he added, referring to cities where police officers were killed in targeted attacks.
“Attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement, referring to his desire to sign the Police Protection act, a law that would make targeted attacks on police officers a hate crime.
McManus identified the officer who was killed as Det. Benjamin Marconi, 50, a 20-year veteran.
He said Sunday night that the suspect had not been caught, and investigators had not identified a motive, but it did not appear there was any relationship between the shooter and the person who had been pulled over.
Police scanner recordings offer a frightening account of what took place, and indicate that the attack took place in the vicinity of police headquarters.
“I’ve got an officer down in front of headquarters,” the voice on the recording said. “Black male in a black Nissan. I need EMS right now in front of headquarters.”
San Antonio Police issued a photo on social media of the black Nissan fleeing the scene after the shooting.
“This is the vehicle seen fleeing headquarters after the shooting. The suspect is described as a black male wearing a hoodie, baggy pants, and beard. Approximately 5’7. Please call CrimeStoppers at 224-STOP with any info,” the post said.
“We consider this suspect to be extremely dangerous and a clear threat to law enforcement officers and the public,” McManus said.
The shooting comes in what has been a year of heightened tensions surrounding police.
Following the widely covered police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, a gunman killed five police officers in Dallas who were protecting a protest rally.
Also in July, 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.
Earlier this month, Urbandale, Iowa resident Scott Michael Greene allegedly shot and killed two police officers in an ambush-style attack.