The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) released footage of a suspect in the murder of Detective Benjamin Marconi, who was shot in the head twice Sunday morning.
In the video posted on SAPD’s Facebook page, the suspect is seen pacing in front of the police headquarters at approximately 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, three hours before the murder. The man, an adult, black male wearing a black coat and black Spurs cap, appears agitated as he looks in the window and bends over to say something through the intercom system before being let into the building. Thirty seconds later, he is seen leaving after officials say he asked the clerk a question and then said, “never mind,” and walked out.
In order to avoid compromising the investigation, officials did not disclose further details on what was said.
“We have some ideas why we believe he may have been in headquarters, but we’re not quite sure,” Chief William McManus told reporters Monday morning. “There are several motives that we’re looking at.”
The “person of interest,” who was questioned by SAPD in relation to the murder, has been released, McManus said.
The suspect is described as a thin, black male in his 20s, about 5-foot-8? to 5-foot-10? tall with a goatee.
At approximately 11:45 a.m. Sunday, Marconi was sitting in his police vehicle writing a ticket after a traffic stop. The suspect parked behind Marconi’s patrol car, approached the vehicle, and fired one shot through the driver’s window. He then reached in, fired a second shot, and fled the scene through the south parking lot, ultimately exiting on the west side of the building. Officials described the vehicle as a black 2009-2015 Mitsubishi Galant with tinted windows and custom rims.
Detective Marconi was “transported by the SAFD EMS to SAMMC, where he was pronounced dead,” McManus said Sunday.
SAPD has reached out to downtown businesses and neighborhood groups for any security camera footage captured between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday that may lead to further identification of the suspect or his whereabouts, according to neighbor posts on the networking site Nextdoor.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Call 210-224-STOP (224-7867). An additional $15,000 is being offered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office as of Monday morning. Tips can also be submitted through the Texas Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477), or online here.
The murder is one of four police shootings across the U.S. Sunday, at least three of which appear to be targeted attacks. Marconi’s death marks the nation’s 58th fire-arms-related police fatality this year, a 61% increase from 2015 that some analysts have attributed to deteriorating police-community relations across the nation.
“It is certainly a coincidence, but we’re not going to venture to say if it is connected,” McManus told reporters.
McManus added that he believes the “uniform was the target,” not Marconi in particular.
Officials have questioned a number of people, all of whom have been released. They are unaware of whether the suspect is currently in San Antonio but say they are casting a wide net while also taking special precautions, such as encouraging officers to perform traffic stops in pairs.
“Our State and federal law enforcement partners are working with us to aggressively investigate this case, and we will continue that without stop, without fail, until the suspect is in custody,” McManus said. “Again, we consider the suspect extremely dangerous to the police and to the public.”
Described by fellow officers as quiet, committed, and widely loved, 50-year-old Marconi served the SAPD for 20 years. McManus described Marconi’s family as “devastated,” along with a number of officers who worked alongside him.
Flowers, balloons, candles, and tokens of remembrance and solidarity have begun to line the plaza outside Public Safety Headquarters at 315 South Santa Rosa Ave. where Marconi was murdered.
An SAPD official told the Rivard Report that a memorial service for Marconi is being planned. A memorial fund honoring Marconi’s life and legacy has already been set up. To donate, click here.
On Monday, Mayor Ivy Taylor sent out an email to business leaders across the city, asking them to lower their flags to half-staff “immediately through the time of internment” to honor Marconi’s life and service.