Vietnam veteran draws portrait of slain SAPD detective

Portrait on its way to San Antonio

By Concetta Callahan - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - An outpouring of love and support for the San Antonio Police Department continues to come in from all over the country. The cold blooded killing of Detective Benjamin Marconi, just days before Thanksgiving, has broken hearts across America.

When a Marine and Vietnam combat veteran in Washington state found out what happened he did what came natural. He started drawing with the hope his portrait will bring a part of Marconi home to his family this holiday season.           

"I’ve been looking into his eyes since 3 o'clock this morning," Michael Reagan said, the founder of the Fallen Heroes Portrait Project.

He said he has done too many of these, 15,000 to be exact.

"I’m sad that he's dead and while I’ve drawn him," Reagan said. "I’ve basically told him that"

Over the summer, he completed the portraits of the five Dallas police officers ambushed in July at a peaceful protest.

It's only recently though he started drawing law enforcement.

"Do these police officers deserve to be treated the way they're being treated and murdered like they're being murdered?" Reagan asked. "No, they don’t."

He started the Fallen Heroes Portrait Project for fallen service men and women, but with more and more stories of people turning on police Reagan has even more reason to put pencil to paper.

"I spend all of my time doing this work because I truly believe in my heart that there is some part of them that I can send back," he explained.

Marconi was ambushed Sunday morning during a traffic stop. Police said Otis McKane came up to his patrol unit and shot him twice in the head.

Forty-eight hours later, an image of Marconi was already drawn up.

"This seemed to be a collection of who this person was. There's a seriousness there but still a kindness. This is the picture that shows what we've lost here is not just a police officer, but we've lost an incredible human being," he said.

The memorial outside Public Safety Headquarters continues to grow with cards, balloons and little trinkets, all serving as signs that people care about Marconi.

"These holidays for everybody around this officer are going to be terrible, and if nothing else, maybe this picture can hang on the wall and give them some peace when it's really, really needed," Reagan said.

The portrait is on its way to San Antonio.

Reagan is hoping the SAPD Chief William McManus can deliver it to Marconi’s family in time for Christmas.

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