San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi was fatally shot while he was sitting in his patrol car, writing out a ticket. He was a 20-year veteran of the force. USA TODAY NETWORK
A manhunt was underway Monday for the unidentified man who fatally shot a San Antonio police officer at a traffic stop, one of four officers shot across the nation in separate attacks Sunday.
Three police officers were wounded and two suspects killed in shootings in St. Louis and Gladstone, Mo., and Sanibel, Fla. In San Antonio, Police Chief William McManus said Monday that the death of Detective Benjamin Marconi was more than a random act.
"I feel we (police) were targeted," McManus said. "I think the uniform was the target."
He said Marconi, 50, was conducting a traffic stop outside police headquarters just before noon when he was shot in his car while writing a ticket. McManus said a black male with a goatee drove up in a Mitsubishi Galant, walked up to Marconi's car and shot the 20-year department veteran in the head before reaching in and shooting him again.
The shooter then drove off, McManus said.
He said the suspect briefly visited the police station four hours before the shooting, speaking to a desk clerk. McManus did not say what was discussed. He said the dashcam video provided "a lot of information," but he provided no details.
McManus urged anyone with information that might aid the investigation to come forward. A reward of up to $10,000 is available for information leading to an arrest.
"We consider the suspect to be extremely dangerous, both to police and to the public," he said. "If you see him, please don't approach him."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement asking all Texas to pray for the Marconis' loved ones as they deal with "this unimaginable tragedy." Abbott urged the Legislature to pass his Police Protection Act, which would classify attacks against law enforcement as hate crimes.
"Attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice," Abbott said.
In St. Louis, a police sergeant who was shot twice in the face Sunday evening was expected to survive, Chief Sam Dotson said. Dotson said the officer was sitting in his cruiser in traffic when he was shot by someone in a nearby car. The officer was listed in critical but stable condition at Barnes Jewish Hospital in the city.
The 46-year-old sergeant is a husband and a father of three children, Dotson said. The 19-year-old suspect was killed hours later in a shootout with officers. Dotson said the teen may have been connected to several robberies, a carjacking and a homicide.
In Gladstone, an officer was shot after a passenger ran from a car stopped for a traffic violation, according to Kansas City police, which handled the investigation. The suspect, described as a white male in his late teens, pulled out a gun and was killed in the ensuing shootout that left one officer wounded.
"Thanks to all for their prayers and calls of support," the Gladstone Police Department tweeted. "Our officer is out of surgery and is expected to make a full recovery following rehab."
In Florida, an officer was in his patrol car wrapping up a routine traffic stop at about 8 p.m. ET Sunday when he was shot by someone driving by. The city said on its website that the suspect was taken into custody shortly after the shooting.
In July, five officers were killed by a heavily armed sniper who opened fire at a peaceful protest in Dallas against police-involved shootings. In Baton Rouge less than two weeks later, three officers were ambushed and killed.
"This is always difficult, especially in this day and age when police officers are being targeted across the country," McManus said. "It's everyone's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, like Dallas, like Baton Rouge, it has happened here now."
Contributing: KSDK-TV, St. Louis; KENS-TV, San Antonio; The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla.