Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined over 3,000 police officers, family members, elected officials, and supportive citizens in honoring the life of a San Antonio police detective who was shot and killed last week.
Governor Abbott was joined by Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio); State Senators Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), Donna Campbell (R-San Antonio), and Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio); and thousands of police officers from across the nation to pay tribute to San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi. Detective Marconi was assassinated by a man who allegedly walked up to his patrol car and shot him in the head.
“I feel a tremendous sense of sadness, while also celebrating a remarkable officer,” Governor Abbott said in a statement. “I’m proud of what Detective Marconi has done in service to others and his legacy as a father. This galvanizing tragedy has brought the State of Texas together. As Texans we respect and revere those that protect and serve, and we at the state level will be working on solutions and tactics to further protect law enforcement. It is time that we all respect and back those that wear the blue.”
The assembly of family and supporters gathered to honor the 20-year police veteran who was assigned to the city’s Special Victims Unit. He was working an overtime and was writing a traffic ticket when the man pulled in behind his patrol car, walked up to the window and shot him twice in the head, the Breitbart Texas reported last week. The alleged killer, Otis Tyrone McKane, told reporters he “lashed out at the wrong person” because he “was upset” over child custody matters.
A procession of more than 100 vehicles led Marconi’s flag-draped casket from the funeral home, through several communities, and along the city’s freeways until arriving at the Community Bible Church, the San Antonio Express News reported.
Following his arrival on church grounds, officers transferred his casket to a horse-drawn hearse which proceeded to the church. Marconi was honored with a 21-gun salute, Taps, and a helicopter fly over. The service honoring the man’s life lasted nearly two hours.
A retired San Antonio police officer told Breitbart Texas he knew Marconi as a young boy. He served with Marconi’s father who the retired officers said “was a great cop.” He said the young boy always told him he would grow up to be a cop like his father. The younger Marconi accomplished that goal before the officer, who wished to remain anonymous, retired from the force. “He was a great cop too,” the officer told Breitbart Texas.
Marconi’s Aunt Elsie McGuire could not have agreed more. “I always knew he was going to be something very special,” she told the San Antonio newspaper. “He had this beauty about him that was always with people — working with people, talking to people. He was always being there. I knew when he became a policeman, it was like that’s his calling. To protect others. And that’s what he loved. That’s the biggest thing he loved, doing his job.”
Governor Abbott tweeted a photo of him presenting the Texas flag to Marconi’s young son and daughter.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 28, 2016
The Texas governor also tweeted a message of condolence to Marconi’s family on the day he was killed, November 20.
Our condolences are with family of this slain San Antonio police officer. Texas won’t tolerate police targeting. https://t.co/xM2fAY6yic
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 20, 2016
As the procession made its slow, wandering journey to the church, many citizens gathered along the streets to show their support, the San Antonio newspaper reported. One person, Efrain Garza, told a reporter, “It’s a bad thing that happened to that officer. I want to give my condolences.”
In addition to the official procession, a group of wrecker drivers staged their own show of support. Approximately 85 tow trucks participated in the “Wrecker Ride for Detective Marconi” on Sunday afternoon, the San Antonio Police Department posted on its Facebook page.
A video posted by Rovena Maldonado showed the tow trucks during their procession.
A reception was held following the service. Marconi’s wish was to be cremated following the memorial service.