US & Canada

Trump calls son of ambushed San Antonio officer

mugshot and file photo of the detective Image copyright Handout
Image caption Police say they believe Detective Maroni (R) was randomly targeted by McKane

US President-elect Donald Trump has spoken on the phone with the son of a Texas detective who was murdered on Sunday, his spokeswoman tells the BBC.

Otis Tyrone McKane was arrested for shooting San Antonio Detective Benjamin Marconi, who was writing a traffic ticket when he was shot in the head.

The suspect told reporters he was upset about a child-custody battle and apologised to the officer's family.

The shooting was one of four against US police in a 24-hour period.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Detective Marconi had been sitting in his patrol car when he was shot twice in the head

Detective Marconi's son, Dane, posted on Facebook: "Just got off the phone with the future president Trump, he sends his condolences to our family."

The post went viral after a screenshot of it was reposted by a woman whose Facebook page identifies her as a crime scene investigator for San Antonio Police.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond to a request for more details.

Mr Trump ran for office as a law-and-order candidate, frequently criticising his opponent Hillary Clinton for contributing to a "war on police".

Image copyright AP
Image caption The Texas state flag flies at half staff outside the San Antonio police headquarters

He received the endorsement of the National Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the US.

Det Marconi, 50, was shot at around noon on Sunday after pulling over a motorist.

The 20-year police veteran had returned to his patrol car to write a ticket when the assailant approached on the driver's side and shot him twice in the head.

The 31-year-old suspect, Mr McKane, was arrested at 16:30 local time on Monday while riding with a woman and two-year-old child in the car.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A makeshift memorial for Detective Marconi grew outside of the police station

He told reporters at Bexar County Jail late on Monday night: "I lashed out at somebody who didn't deserve it."

"I've been through several custody battles, and I was upset at the situation I was in," he said as he was led away by officers.

"I'd still like to see my son," he added.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said after the arrest was made earlier in the day by Swat officers that "the uniform was the target" in the shooting of Det Marconi.

Four hours before the attack, Mr McKane visited a police station to ask a clerk a question, but left before receiving a response.

Chief McManus said after the arrest that this is "the person we believe is responsible for the cold and calculated murder of Detective Marconi".

San Antonio police drew a connection with July's shooting of officers in Dallas, Texas, pointing out that targeted attacks against police were on the rise.

Five officers were shot and killed during a Black Lives Matter protest in that incident, which was the deadliest day for US officers since the 9/11 attacks.

So far this year 60 US law enforcement officers have been fatally shot, compared to 41 in 2015, according to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Twenty were purposefully targeted, compared with only eight last year.

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