May 28, 2011 was a dark day for the sheriff’s department in San Antonio, Texas as one of their own was viciously gunned down by an unknown assailant. Officers worked diligently hoping for a break, and finally one came with the arrest of suspected gunman, Mark Gonzales. According to police reports, Gonzales confessed to a friend that he had killed a deputy.
The police report states Gonzales called a friend and said, “I killed a cop. Don’t tell no one, not even your wife.” This in turn led to a tip which directed officers to the alleged killer.
Sgt. Vann was brutally shot down on May 28, 2011 while responding to a call of shots fired at around 2:00am. While en route, Vann was shot several times with a .223 caliber weapon while he was sitting at a traffic light. According to reports, Gonzales and a friend were travelling in separate vehicles when Gonzales pulled up beside Vann and opened fire.
When sheriff’s officers and the FBI raided the suspect’s home and effectuated the arrest, they found a weapon similar to the one used in the fatal shooting. This has been sent for forensic analysis to determine if it is the murder weapon. Gonzales was arrested without incident.
Gonzales is currently being held in the Bexar County Jail under a 1.5 million dollar bond on a capital murder charge. He had a reported history with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department; however, that has not been deemed a cause of the incident. Drugs have also been ruled out as a cause of the fatal shooting. At the time of arrest, Gonzales denied any knowledge of the shooting.
In order to become a deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s office, all individuals must first work in the county jail. This is to become familiar with department policies and procedures as well as the type of individual you will have contact with on a daily basis. Deputies must also possess a TCLEOSE Peace Officer’s Certificate and successfully complete the Bexar County Deputy training program. In addition, they must complete scheduled recertification trainings once they have completed their basic training. Many officers also earn their degree from a criminal justice school.
Training for police officers in other parts of the United States is very similar. Some departments will employ individuals at the age of 18, 19, or 20; however, most require that the interested party be at least 21 years of age at the time of application, have a clean criminal history, and meet the physical demands of the job.