Texas police are searching for a gunman who allegedly fatally shot an officer as he sat in his patrol car outside of the police department’s headquarters on Sunday, PEOPLE confirms.
San Antonio police said Ben Marconi, 50, was writing out a ticket in his patrol vehicle at around 11:45 a.m. when the gunman drove up beside him in a black car and allegedly fired two shots into the vehicle, striking Marconi in the head. The suspect allegedly fled the scene and Marconi was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
“We consider the suspect to be extremely dangerous and a clear threat to law enforcement officers and the public,” Chief William McManus said at a Sunday press conference.
Officials described the suspect as a black man between 20 and 30 years old. He is believed to be at least 5’7″ and has a “slim” build with a goatee. Police are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to his arrest.
“Our hearts go out to Detective Marconi’s family,” McManus said. “Most families will be celebrating the holidays, SAPD will be burying one of its own because of an ultimate act of cowardice by a suspect who will be caught and brought to justice.”
In a Monday press conference, McManus said police spoke with a person of interest in the investigation, and noted that the person was questioned and released.
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Officials also released a surveillance video showing the suspect walking through the department’s headquarters.
McManus described Marconi as a 20-year veteran of the department and Roy Naylor, a former colleague of Marconi’s, told NBC News that Marconi was a sex crimes detective who “excelled” at his work.
“He was a great father, he was a great officer,” Naylor told NBC, adding that Marconi had two children from past marriages as well as grandchildren.
Four Officers Shot in 24-Hour Span
Marconi is one of four officers shot over a 24-hour period, reports say.
A St. Louis, Missouri, a police sergeant was shot twice in the face Sunday night, but is expected to survive, CBS News reports.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told KMOV the sergeant “was just doing his job, but he was targeted because he was a police officer.”
A Gladstone, Missouri, police officer was shot Sunday night but is expected to survive, according to Fox. Meanwhile, a cop in Sanibel, Florida, was shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop but was treated and released, CBS reports.
Of the shootings, McManus said, “I feel they were targeted.”