San Antonio police arrest man wanted in killing of officer targeted for ‘the uniform’ – Washington Post
Police in San Antonio said Monday that they had arrested a man wanted in the ambush killing of an officer fatally shot a day earlier.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said during a briefing that a SWAT team had arrested Otis Tyrone McKane. The police chief said that McKane was arrested without incident following a sprawling manhunt sparked by the killing of Detective Benjamin Marconi, who was slain while writing a traffic ticket in front of police headquarters on Sunday morning.
McKane is “the person we believe is responsible for the cold and calcuated murder of Detective Marconi,” McManus said during a briefing late Monday afternoon.
“We are relieved to have taken him into custody without a further loss of life,” McManus said.
Police said they still do not know a motive for Marconi’s death, and McManus declined to say what led authorities to the 31-year-old McKane. During a briefing earlier in the day, McManus said police did not believe the officer’s death was tied to another attack in St. Louis that occurred hours later on Sunday.
“I will say that it is certainly a coincidence, but we’re not going to venture to say that it’s connected,” McManus said.
Marconi was one of three officers shot Sunday in attacks that police described as ambushes, a spate of targeted shootings that also wounded police officials in Missouri and Florida. The other two officers — who, like Marconi, were sitting inside their patrol cars when they were shot — are expected to survive.
These shootings occurred four months after eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were gunned down in separate ambushes just days apart, attacks that added to fears among law enforcement and have helped fuel an increase in the number of officers killed by gunfire this year.
Officers in San Antonio “absolutely felt targeted,” McManus said during a briefing Monday morning. “I feel they were targeted.”
McManus said that he believed the attacker in San Antonio was going after a member of law enforcement rather than specifically targeting Marconi.
“I think the uniform was the target, and anyone, the first person who happened along, was the person that he targeted,” McManus said.
During the briefing after McKane was arrested, McManus said that officers still remain wary in the face of other threats facing law enforcement.
“The fact that he’s been taken into custody, that does not negate the fact that there are people out there who are still targeting police officers,” McManus said. “So our officers will always be vigilant and on guard for that.”
Police also said Monday that the suspected attacker had briefly visited the department’s headquarters not long before the shooting, although McManus said investigators were not sure what prompted this visit.
“I don’t know why he was at headquarters,” McManus said. “We have some ideas why we believe he may have been in headquarters, but we’re not quite sure.”
Police had McKane under surveillance for a few hours before they took him into custody, McManus said.
At the time of his arrest, McKane was driving a car with an unidentified woman and a two-year-old, and McManus said he did not know about the relationship between any of them.
Officials had released video footage they said showed McKane entering the department’s headquarters in downtown San Antonio.
In one video, a man is seen leaning over and speaking to an intercom outside the building moments before the automatic doors swing open and he walks inside. The same man apparently walks back out of the building just 26 seconds later. Another video clip shows the man walking inside the lobby.
McManus said there were no uniformed police personnel in the lobby at the time. He declined to say what this man said at the intercom that prompted the doors to be opened for him to enter the building.
Marconi, 50, had been with the San Antonio police for two decades. On Sunday morning, he was making a traffic stop in front of police headquarters when an attacker parked behind his police car and walked up to the window.
The attacker fired a shot into the car, hitting Marconi in the head, before reaching “in through the open window and fired a second shot,” hitting him again, McManus said during a briefing Sunday. Marconi was brought to an area hospital and was pronounced dead not long after.
In a statement released by police, Marconi’s family asked for privacy so they could “mourn the loss of a wonderful father, brother, grandfather, friend, and last but not least, a peace officer.”
Hours after Marconi was killed, an officer was sitting in a patrol car in St. Louis when someone pulled up and opened fire. That attacker was later fatally shot by police when he fired at officers searching for him, authorities said. Another officer was shot near Kansas City, Mo., after a struggle following a traffic stop, police said.