San Antonio, TX – Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of San Antonio Detective Benjamin Marconi.
Friends and family of the fallen hero celebrated his memory several different ways.
Members of Det. Marconi’s family, neighbors from the community the detective served, and fellow officers from his police department met at a gym to do a memorial workout in the his memory.
“His badge number was 2382 so the row that we’re going to do is 2,382 meters,” explained his brother Tom Marconi, who honored Det. Marconi on a rowing machine.
Det. Marconi’s boyfriend of four years, Nate Nguyen, marked the anniversary by giving his first interview since the detective’s death to WOAI as his tribute to the man he loved.
Nguyen said he’d planned to propose to Det. Marconi when the couple took a trip to Rome for Nguyen’s birthday.
“October 28th this year," he said. "I was going to take him to Rome with me and then do it up there … I had his son's blessing."
He recalled the day Det. Marconi, 50, was shot in cold blood by a man who pulled up behind his patrol car while he was doing a traffic stop.
Det. Marconi was writing a warning ticket to a parent who didn’t have their child in a car seat when police said Otis McKane approached his cruiser from the rear, and shot the 20-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department in the head.
Det. Marconi hadn't had any prior contact with McKane. He was murdered just for being a police officer.
Nguyen told WOAI that he knew something was wrong when he couldn’t reach his boyfriend on Nov. 20, 2016. He said they checked in regularly with each other via phone calls and texts, especially when Det. Marconi was on duty.
He said he spoke to his boyfriend’s son, who told him to get to the hospital right away.
Nguyen said the number of police officers lining the walkways at the hospital was overwhelming.
“I’d never seen anything like that,” Nguyen said.
He said police told him to sit down before giving him the bad news that his boyfriend had died.
"I asked what happened and they explained to me that he was shot a couple times in the head," said Nate. "I mean, I was, I stayed there, you know, hugging him for a while. Him and his son and his whole family."
He said he was grateful he was able to spend some time with Det. Marconi’s body, and say goodbye to the man he described as his “best friend.”
Nguyen said he wants everyone to know what a good father and grandfather Det. Marconi was.
“He was a selfless leader, a hero. Everybody looked up to him,” Nguyen said.