A Bexar County (San Antonio) Sheriff’s deputy was stopped at a red light on the East Side when someone ambushed him — an attack so sudden he was unable to reach for his weapon or call for help. He died before emergency responders could get him to a hospital. The murder occurred at 2:12 A.M. Sunday in San Antonio. As of yesterday police have no suspects.
This immediately brought to mind the murder of Aurora, Colorado police detective and 24-year veteran Michael Thomas on September 19, 2006. That case is similar because Detective Thomas was sitting in his car stopped at a red light when he was gunned down. However, Officer Thomas was not in uniform or in a marked police car so it was not apparent whether the murderer knew he was a police officer. It was later determined that the shooter did know Thomas was a police officer and that was the motive for the shooting.
Brian Allen Washington, age 27, of Denver, was soon arrested for the shooting. He didn’t run away after the shooting and was found at the scene and identified by witnesses. He was convicted of second degree murder in April, 2010 and sentenced to 80 years in prison.
I don’t know how many similar shootings of police officers may have occurred in the same time frame between the Thomas murder and the Bexar deputy killing, but the shooting of 4 officers in a Seattle coffee shop by Maurice Clemmons on November 29, 2009 was also a random shooting of police officers motivated by the mere fact they were police officers.
Police officer shootings seem to have taken a sudden spike upward in recent years and this a vexing situation. One wonders what in the hell is going on. The extremely violent criminal who will shoot it out with police, sometimes over a matter as minor as shoplifting, is bad enough. A random killer who kills people he doesn’t know and with whom he has no previous connection or involvement, targeting his victims merely for their status as police officers, is a paroxysm of hatred that threatens the liberty and peace of mind of every citizen.