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Texas police officer shot dead while writing motorist ticket

Texas police officer shot dead while writing motorist ticket

Two police officers have been shot in separate incidents in what authorities are calling targeted attacks. One died, while the other was shot twice in the face but was expected to survive.

A detective in San Antonio, Texas, was shot dead in his patrol car as he wrote out a traffic ticket for a motorist outside police headquarters late on Sunday morning by another driver who pulled up from behind, authorities said.

San Antonio police Chief William McManus identified the officer as Benjamin Marconi, 50, a 20-year veteran of the force.

Police said the search for a male suspect was still under way early on Monday and that no arrest had been made. Mr McManus said he does not believe the suspect had any connection to the original motorist who was pulled over, and no motive has been identified.

In St Louis, Missouri, a 46-year-old police sergeant was taken to hospital in a critical condition but was expected to survive after being shot twice in the face on Sunday night in what the area's police chief called an "ambush".

Police reported early on Monday that the suspect was later killed in a shoot-out with officers.

Police Chief Sam Dotson said at a brief news conference after the shooting: "Fortunately for the blessing of God the officer's going to survive."

He declined to name the officer but said he is a married father of three who has been with the department for about 20 years.

The officer was not involved in a call or a traffic stop but was sitting in traffic about 7.30pm local time on Sunday when another car pulled up alongside his marked police vehicle. The officer told police he heard at least two shots.

"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," Mr Dotson said.

Police reported that officers later pulled up behind the suspect's vehicle and that he fled on foot. Police said the man fired shots at the officers, who returned fire, killing him. No officers were shot.

Two other police officers were also shot on Sunday night, but it was not clear whether the incidents were targeted attacks.

An officer with the Gladstone, Missouri, police department near Kansas City was shot, along with a suspect. A officer from Sanibel, Florida, was shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop on Sunday night, and was treated for his injuries and released.

Sunday's fatal shooting in San Antonio came less than five months after a gunman killed five officers in Dallas who were working at a protest about the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since September 11 2001.

Ten days after the Dallas attack, a man wearing a ski mask and armed with two rifles and a pistol killed three officers near a petrol station and convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And earlier this month, two police officers from Des Moines, Iowa, were fatally shot in separate ambush-style attacks while sitting in their patrol cars.

"It's always difficult, especially in this this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country," Mr McManus said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the slaying of Mr Marconi a "horrific act of violence".

He said in a statement that "attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice".