Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Otis Tyrone McKane, a suspect in the murder of SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi, was arrested late Monday afternoon.
In a video by KSAT Monday night, McKane said he didn’t know Marconi and was sorry he “lashed out at somebody who didn’t deserve it” in his anger at not being able to see his son.
“I’ve been through several custody battles, and I was upset at the situation I was in,” McKane told reporters.
Chief William McManus said McKane, 31, was pulled over around 4:20 p.m. by a SWAT team on I-10 East near Ackerman Road following several hours of close surveillance. McKane was with an adult female and a 2-year-old child. Nobody was injured during the arrest.
A “variety of leads” resulted in the arrest, McManus said at a press conference held at police headquarters (see video below) Monday evening. Marconi was shot twice in the head during an ambush attack, steps away from the building at 315 S. Santa Rosa Ave. on Sunday around 11:45 a.m.
McKane has a criminal record, McManus said, adding that “the motive of the capital murder is still unknown.
“This has all been happening over the last 30 hours, and we are relieved to have taken him into custody without a further loss of life,” McManus said. “This is very much an ongoing investigation. There are many facets of the case which still need to be investigated.”
The murder occurred while Marconi was writing a ticket for another, unrelated driver during a routine 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 in a black Mitsubishi Gallant through the south parking lot, ultimately exiting on the west side of the building.
Marconi was transported to SAMMC, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Marconi’s son posted on Facebook Monday that he had spoken with President-elect Donald Trump, who expressed his condolences to the family.
During his arrest, McKane was in a different vehicle, but the car caught by cameras leaving the scene of the crime was discovered as well.
“We are blessed in this community to have a wonderful law enforcement community working together,” District Attorney Nico LaHood said. “There was no pride – I mean selfish pride – in this process. Everyone was working together. No one cared who got the credit.”
LaHood expects the suspect to be charged with capital murder, which in Texas could mean the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
“This afternoon, we can all breathe a little easier knowing that the suspect who maliciously killed one of our SAPD officers is in custody,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said. “I want to thank the SAPD, District Attorney’s Office, FBI, U.S. Marshals Office, Texas Rangers, and Department of Public Safety for working through the night to follow leads, connect the dots and finally bring a successful conclusion to the search.”
In a video posted on SAPD’s Facebook page Monday morning, 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, 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,” McManus told reporters Monday morning. “There are several motives that we’re looking at.”
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.
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 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.