SAN ANTONIO - When Detective Benjamin Marconi was shot to death Sunday, Jennifer Patterson and her daughter were just a few feet away, driving in the opposite direction on Santa Rosa Street.
"My daughter said, 'Oh my God! I cannot believe he just shot that policeman!' And it was like why? And how?" Patterson said.
Patterson said she was horrified and that her daughter urged her to speed away, but before they had much time to react, the gunman jumped in his car and sped off.
“It was oh my God! It was bad. You automatically knew what happened, what the outcome was unless there was a humongous miracle," Patterson said.
Patterson, who lives in the small town of Luling east of San Antonio, said she was in town for her mother's 90th birthday party Saturday.
She said Sunday they were driving slowly, looking for Mi Tierra restaurant, when the shooting happened.
Patterson says as she turned around to see if she could render aid, within seconds, other bystanders ran to help the dying detective.
Two men and a family with three young boys also tried to help, but it was too late.
Patterson said in his hour of need, Marconi was surrounded by people who wanted to help.
“I'm sure when he was ascending because it happened so quickly, in the blink of an eye,” Patterson said.
As police officers flooded the area, Patterson said it took a while for her to realize the shooting happened in front of the Public Safety Headquarters building.
Patterson said “The detective said I need to take your statement, let's walk in here. And I said 'where's that?' and he said ‘the police station’ and I thought 'this happened this happened in front of the police station?' and that was unbelievable.”
Patterson said she didn't sleep Sunday night, but she's resting easier now that an arrest has been made.
For the Marconi family, she has prayers and wishes for peace.
“I hope they have the comfort of knowing he's caught. That he's caught and he's not out there to do it to somebody else.”
(© 2016 KENS)