San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi, killed on 11/20/16.

Officers injured, slain in what appear to be targeted shootings

San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi, killed on 11/20/16.
San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi, killed on 11/20/16.

(CNN) — Police are on high alert — and in at least one city, mourning — after four officers were shot Sunday in incidents around the country,

Perhaps most startling to law enforcement is that in three of the shootings, it appears the alleged perpetrators specifically targeted police officers, according to authorities and local media reports.

An officer in Sanibel, Florida, was shot in a drive-by as he conducted a traffic stop; a Gladstone, Missouri, officer was shot after a traffic stop that produced a foot chase and shootout; a 20-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department was wounded in what authorities characterize as an ambush; and San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi was killed outside police headquarters in what appears to be another ambush.

In describing the circumstances leading to Marconi’s death, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus cited recent ambush attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the former, sniper Micah Xavier Johnson in July killed five officers protecting activists demonstrating after the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Later that month, Iraq veteran Gavin Long ambushed three officers in Baton Rouge, fatally shooting them.

Marconi’s death marked the 58th fatal shooting of an officer this year — well ahead of the number for all of 2015 (41) but not quite on pace to challenge the 2011 total of 73, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Police are still looking for the San Antonio suspect, while the St. Louis suspect was killed following an exchange of gunfire with police, authorities said. The suspect in Gladstone was killed as well, while the Sanibel suspect was taken into custody after a shootout at a golf-and-tennis community, local media outlets reported.

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