- The Washington Times - Monday, November 21, 2016

Investigators believe the gunman who fatally shot a San Antonio police officer Sunday was set on targeting anyone in a law enforcement uniform — one of several similar attacks on police in 24 hours.

Monday night, authorities arrested the man suspected of killing Detective Benjamin Marconi, 50, in his squad car as he was writing a traffic ticket.

Hours earlier, the city’s police chief asked for help in identifying the gunman and released a video that showed a suspect entering the department’s headquarters several hours before the attack. No officers were inside the building’s lobby at the time.

“I think the uniform was the target, and the first person who happened along was the person that he targeted,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said at a news conference.

The suspected gunman was identified as 31-year-old Otis Tyrone McKane, and Chief McManus said he was the same man who entered the department’s headquarters Sunday morning and spoke briefly with a clerk.

Mr. McKane had been under surveillance for several hours before police pulled over a car in which he was a passenger. Chief McManus said Mr. McKane has an history of altercations but declined to provide details. The chief declined to speculate on the motive of the attack, saying Monday night that investigators were still interviewing the suspect.

The shooting in Texas was just one of several attacks aimed at law enforcement on Sunday. Three other police officers were shot but survived attacks in Missouri and Florida.

The shootings are not believed to be related, but the coincidence was jarring for law enforcement officers across the country.

“The number of officers shot and killed in ambush attacks this year now totals 20, which is the highest total since 1995,” said Craig W. Floyd, president of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “Clearly, our officers are facing horrendous and growing risks while serving and protecting our communities.”

The San Antonio shooting brought to 127 the number of line-of-duty deaths this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Sixty of the deaths reported this year involved firearms, a 67 percent increase over the same time last year.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch noted Monday that this has been “an especially dangerous year for police officers” and emphasized that the Justice Department is working closely with law enforcement agencies in the field to improve officer safety and resilience.

“In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue to assist state and local law enforcement officers in any way that we can to reduce the frequency and deadliness of these tragic incidents,” she said.

A sergeant with the St. Louis Police Department was shot twice in the face during a drive-by shooting Sunday night as he sat in his marked police SUV at a red light. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said investigators believe the gunman, whom they identified as 19-year-old George Bush III, was responsible for a series of crimes in the area and fired at the sergeant out of paranoia.

“When he saw the officer, he became concerned that he would be recognized, and we believe he fired at the officer for that reason,” Chief Dotson said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the 46-year-old sergeant was among those who had served a search warrant Sunday night in an investigation targeting Mr. Bush and that investigators were considering the possibility that Mr. Bush followed officers away from the home.

Hours after the attack, Mr. Bush was killed in a shootout with officers when he bailed out of a vehicle and fired on a police vehicle.

In Sanibel, Florida, an officer was injured in a drive-by shooting during a traffic stop Sunday night. Officer Jarred Ciccone was filling out paperwork when shots were fired from a passing vehicle.

Police arrested Jon Webster Hay, 49, a licensed real estate broker, in connection with the shooting. Officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is investigating the incident, declined to comment on a motive. Sanibel government officials said Mr. Hay was arrested at this home after a shootout with officers.

The (Fort Myers) News-Press reported that Mr. Hay had called police at least 15 times over the past decade to report complaints that included worries that his house was being watched, concerns that his ex-wife was trying to take his belongings and possible credit card fraud.

In the Kansas City, Missouri, suburb of Gladstone, an officer was shot in the hand and a teenager was killed during an altercation that began with a traffic stop.

A statement from the Kansas City Police Department, which is investigating the shooting, indicates that a passenger ran from a vehicle that Gladstone police officers had pulled over. The officers pursued the passenger, and a struggle ensued as they tried to arrest him. He was described as a white male in his late teens. Kansas City police said the man was shot after he pulled out a handgun.

It was not immediately clear whether the injured officer was shot by the suspect or hit by friendly fire.

Responding to the news that two officers in Missouri were injured in shootings Sunday, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens said he intends to push for stricter punishment for those who attack officers after he takes office.

“In the face of this violence, we must take action,” said Mr. Greitens, a Republican. “We must stand up for those who stand guard for us.”

He said he also intends to establish a “Blue Alert” system that would send out statewide emergency notifications any time police are on the hunt for police shooting suspects.

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