Ar­rest made in slay­ing of Texas de­tec­tive

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD - By Jim Sal­ter and David War­ren

A manhunt for a sus­pect in the fa­tal shoot­ing of a vet­eran Texas po­lice de­tec­tive ended Mon­day with an ar­rest in the killing that was one of sev­eral week­end at­tacks against law en­force­ment in mul­ti­ple states, au­thor­i­ties said.

The San An­to­nio de­tec­tive and of­fi­cers shot in Mis­souri and Florida were con­duct­ing rou­tine tasks Sun­day when they be­came the tar­gets of vi­o­lence. The de­tec­tive was writ­ing a traf­fic ticket when he was shot to death in his squad car Sun­day morn­ing out­side po­lice head­quar­ters.

“I think the uni­form was the tar­get and the first per­son that hap­pened along was the first per­son that (the sus­pect) tar­geted,” San An­to­nio Po­lice Chief Wil­liam McManus said Mon­day.

In Mis­souri, a St. Louis po­lice sergeant was shot twice in the face Sun­day evening while he sat in traf­fic in a marked po­lice ve­hi­cle. He was re­leased from a hos­pi­tal Mon­day.

The shoot­ings were the lat­est in what law en­force­ment of­fi­cials say is an alarm­ing spike in am­bush­style at­tacks. Sixty of­fi­cers were shot to death on the job this year, com­pared to 41 in all of 2015, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Law En­force­ment Of­fi­cers Me­mo­rial Fund. Of the 60 killed, 20 were pur­posely tar­geted by their as­sailant com­pared to eight last year, the group said.

Po­lice of­fi­cers also were shot and in­jured dur­ing traf­fic stops in Sani­bel, Florida, and Gladstone, Mis­souri, on Sun­day night, but au­thor­i­ties have not sug­gested these were tar­geted at­tacks. All the shoot­ings come less than five months af­ter a black mil­i­tary vet­eran killed five white of­fi­cers at a protest in Dal­las — the dead­li­est day for Amer­i­can law en­force­ment since Sept. 11, 2001.

Race was a fac­tor in the Dal­las at­tack, but po­lice have not said if race played a part in any of the at­tacks on Sun­day. In San An­to­nio, po­lice say the sus­pect is black and the of­fi­cer was white. In St. Louis, the sus­pect was black, but po­lice have not re­leased the of­fi­cer’s race. Most killings of po­lice of­fi­cers are car­ried out by white men, and most peo­ple shot and killed by po­lice are white, said Craig W. Floyd, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Law En­force­ment Of­fi­cers Me­mo­rial Fund.

San An­to­nio De­tec­tive Ben­jamin Mar­coni, who was killed Sun­day while writ­ing the ticket, was a 20-year vet­eran of the force. Chief McManus said Mon­day evening that a 31-year-old man, Otis Ty­rone McKane, was ar­rested on a cap­i­tal mur­der war­rant with­out in­ci­dent af­ter the car he was driv­ing was stopped Mon­day af­ter­noon on an in­ter­state.

McManus said ear­lier that he doesn’t be­lieve the sus­pect has any re­la­tion­ship to the motorist who was pulled over ini­tially.

Sur­veil­lance video shows the sus­pect at San An­to­nio po­lice head­quar­ters about four hours be­fore the 50-year-old Mar­coni was shot. The sus­pect asked a desk clerk a ques­tion but left be­fore re­ceiv­ing an answer, said McManus, who de­clined to say what the man asked.

“I don’t know why he was in head­quar­ters. We have some ideas,” he said.

St. Louis Po­lice Chief Sam Dot­son de­clined to name the 46-year-old of­fi­cer who was shot and wounded there. He said the of­fi­cer is a mar­ried fa­ther of three and has been with the depart­ment for about 20 years.

“This of­fi­cer was driv­ing down the road and was am­bushed by an in­di­vid­ual who pointed a gun at him from in­side of his car and shot out the po­lice of­fi­cer’s win­dow,” Dot­son said.

The sus­pect, 19-yearold Ge­orge P. Bush III, was wanted for ques­tion­ing in re­cent vi­o­lent crimes that in­cluded sev­eral rob­beries, a car­jack­ing and per­haps a killing, Dot­son said with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

“We be­lieve he knew he was good for those crimes and that we were look­ing for him,” Dot­son said. “That’s why he ag­gres­sively at­tacked a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Po­lice said Bush was later killed in a shootout with of­fi­cers.

At least two other po­lice of­fi­cers were wounded in shoot­ings in other cities Sun­day, but it wasn’t clear whether they were tar­geted at­tacks.

An of­fi­cer with the Gladstone, Mis­souri, po­lice depart­ment near Kansas City was shot, and the sus­pect was shot and killed. The of­fi­cer, whose name has not been re­leased, is ex­pected to re­cover.

Sani­bel, Florida, of­fi­cer Jarred Cic­cone was shot in the shoul­der dur­ing a traf­fic stop and re­leased af­ter be­ing treated for his in­juries. Au­thor­i­ties said they ar­rested Jon Web­ster Hay, 49, about 90 min­utes af­ter the shoot­ing. They said he was booked into jail on an at­tempted mur­der charge Mon­day once he was re­leased from a hos­pi­tal, where he was treated af­ter be­ing wounded dur­ing a stand­off and shootout with of­fi­cers.

On July 7, Micah John­son shot and killed five law en­force­ment of­fi­cers who had been work­ing to keep the peace at a protest in down­town Dal­las over the fa­tal po­lice shoot­ings of black men in Min­nesota and Louisiana. Ten days af­ter that at­tack, a man wear­ing a ski mask and armed with two ri­fles and a pis­tol killed three of­fi­cers near a gas sta­tion and con­ve­nience store in Ba­ton Rouge, Louisiana. And ear­lier this month, two Des Moines, Iowa-area po­lice of­fi­cers were fa­tally shot in sep­a­rate am­bush-style at­tacks while sit­ting in their pa­trol cars.

“It’s al­ways dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially in this day and age, where po­lice are be­ing tar­geted across the coun­try,” McManus said.

Sal­ter re­ported from St. Louis and War­ren from Dal­las. Jamie Sten­gle in Dal­las and Tammy Web­ber in Chicago also contributed.

ERIC GAY — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Faith Reyna leaves flow­ers at a makeshift me­mo­rial for slain San An­to­nio po­lice of­fi­cer Ben­jamin Mar­coni on Mon­day in San An­to­nio.

Mar­coni

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