Police officers in San Antonio and St. Louis were shot this weekend. The officer in Texas died. The officer in St. Louis is in critical but stable condition. Below, coverage from our sister papers in those two cities.
Manhunt Underway For Suspect Who Executed SAPD Detective in Broad Daylight Near Police Headquarters
By Michael Barajas
Detective Benjamin Marconi was conducting a routine traffic stop just before noon Sunday outside the San Antonio Police Department headquarters downtown when another driver pulled up behind his cruiser. As Marconi, a 20-year San Antonio Police Department veteran, sat inside his vehicle, the man walked up to the driver side window and shot Marconi in the head. He then reached through the window, according to police, and fired a second round, again striking Marconi in the head. Marconi, 50, was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at the hospital.
"While 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," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told group of reporters following the shooting. He said that officers have now been directed to conduct traffic stops in pairs.
In a statement, San Antonio police union president Mike Helle said, "Words cannot express how deeply this affects every police officer, not just in San Antonio, but across our country." Meanwhile, Mayor Ivy Taylor said Marconi's slaying marked "a somber day for our city," and told reporters she was "floored" Sunday when she heard the news after getting out of church. "This type of senseless violence is unacceptable," she said.
As of Monday morning, police say they still searching for a suspect brazen enough to ambush and execute a police officer in broad daylight outside police headquarters. McManus told reporters that the suspect was driving a black sedan, and following the shooting even pulled his car into the SAPD headquarters parking lot before fleeing the scene. While TV news reports late Sunday circulated a photo of a man reportedly connected to the investigation, SAPD issued a statement after midnight saying no arrests have been made. Then, early Monday morning, police posted this photo saying they're looking for a "black male; 20-30 years old, 5'7"-6' tall, slim build with a goatee."
Suspected Cop Shooter Killed in Shootout with St. Louis Police
By Doyle Murphy
A man suspected of shooting a St. Louis police sergeant in the face Sunday evening was killed five hours later in a running gun battle with cops, authorities say.
The suspect fired at officers in the Clifton Heights neighborhood and bolted through a yard before he was fatally shot in the 6500 block of Smiley Avenue, just west of Watson, police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters during an early Monday morning news conference.
"Police officers returned fire, striking him, and he is deceased here," Dotson said.
The final showdown was the end of what Dotson described as a "massive" manhunt and possibly lengthy crime spree beginning days before the man ambushed the police officer on Hampton Avenue. The suspect, described by police as a black male born in 1997, was wanted in multiple robberies committed with friends, and investigators believe he may have been involved in a carjacking and even a homicide, Dotson said.
The man probably knew police were looking to arrest him for those crimes when he came across a 46-year-old police sergeant about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Dotson says the sergeant, a married father of three, was patrolling along Hampton near Pernod Avenue when the suspect pulled alongside him in a silver-colored car and opened fire.
Investigators suspect the man worried he would be recognized and arrested.
"That's why he aggressively attacked the police officer tonight and made it very clear he was not going to stop for officers," Dotson said.
The sergeant was hit twice in the face but managed to call for help on his radio. Officers found him sitting behind the wheel with his seat belt on and gun in his holster, Dotson said. He was rushed to Barnes Jewish Hospital in critical but stable condition as police officers and federal agents from the FBI and ATF began searching for his attacker.
Dotson said they later found the suspect's car in a parking garage near Laclede's Landing. Investigators believe a female friend picked him up and drove him back to Clifton Heights, where he had friends.
Police tried to stop the woman's car shortly before 1 a.m., but the man jumped out of the passenger seat and sprinted through a residential neighborhood. He spotted an unmarked cop car in the 6500 block of Smiley Avenue and fired a shot through the windshield, narrowly missing the two officers inside, Dotson said.
"Neither was seriously injured," Dotson said. "They were sprayed with a little bit of glass from the shot that went through."
As more officers moved in, the man fired at them, too, Dotson said. They returned fire, killing the man.
Officers recovered a handgun that was fitted with an extended magazine, and Dotson said the suspect was carrying additional ammunition.
He was killed about one mile north of where the sergeant was shot.