Police Officers Targeted in Weekend Ambushes

(CN) – A police officer writing a traffic ticket in San Antonio was executed inside his vehicle and another in St. Louis is recovering from being shot in the face, authorities said Monday.

The ambush-style shootings are the latest in a string of attacks on police officers and revived concerns over their safety, months after the July ambushes on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

San Antonio police on Monday continued to search for the suspect who fatally shot 50-year-old Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the force, as he wrote a ticket in his squad car outside of the city’s police headquarters.

The suspect parked a black vehicle behind Marconi’s police cruiser late Sunday morning, walked over and fired two shots into the officer’s car, one striking him in the head, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

The gunman, believed to be a black man between 20 and 30 years old, then fled away in his vehicle. No arrests have been made but authorities have released images of the vehicle and a person they are now considering a suspect.

“We have pulled out all the stops, we have engaged our federal partners, our state partners and our local partners for the search for this individual,” McManus said at a news conference Monday. “The search has gone on since we started yesterday and it will not stop until this person is in custody.”

He added, “We consider this suspect to be extremely dangerous to both police and the public.”

McManus said he doesn’t believe there was any relationship between the gunman and the original driver who was pulled over. The driver was interviewed by homicide detectives and McManus said police will be conducting traffic stops in pairs until the suspect is apprehended.

The chief said he believes Marconi was targeted for being an officer.

San Antonio Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the identity of the suspect as the manhunt continued Monday.

Later on Sunday, a suspect was killed by police in St. Louis after he shot a 46-year-old police sergeant in the face. Authorities there said a driver pulled up next to the sergeant’s SUV at an intersection, opened fire through his window, and then sped away.

“What we believe is that individual was responsible for a series of crimes that have occurred in the last couple of days both here in St. Louis and St. Louis County,” Police Chief Sam Dotson said.

Dotson said the man, identified only as a black male about 19 years old, likely fired at the officer “out of concern that he would be recognized.”

The St. Louis sergeant was hospitalized in critical condition but is expected to survive.

An officer in Sanibel, Fla, was also injured when he was shot Sunday night as he sat in his patrol car. The suspect was taken into custody.