One year after police detective's death, partner shares memories of life they shared
"I fell in love with him. He was my best friend. My best friend."
Nate Nguyen is talking about Benjamin Marconi, the 50-year-old partner he shared a life with for four years, right up until his death in November of 2016. He says the two kept in constant contact while Ben was working as a detective with the San Antonio Police Department.
"I call him every hour, that's our rule," says Nguyen. "We call each other every hour, or even a text to make sure we're ok, especially if he's on a job."
On the day Marconi was shot, Nate says it was unusual not to hear from him. They were planning on making a meal when he got off work.
After several phone calls, he went to Marconi's home in Floresville where a neighbor told him that a lot of police had been there. Nate called Ben's family.
"I got in contact with his son and I heard his son and he says, 'Nate, um, Dad's in the hospital. You need to come right now.' And I dropped everything," recalls Nate.
He would later learn Ben was shot while writing a ticket to a driver who didn't have a child in a safety seat. He was sitting in his patrol car when he was murdered by another person who drove up to his police cruiser.
"I asked what happened and they explained to me that he was shot a couple times in the head," says Nate. "I mean, I was, I stayed there, you know, hugging him for a while. Him and his son and his whole family."
"I was hurt. I didn't think anybody could be that cruel," adds Nate. "He didn't do anything wrong. He was just wrong place, wrong time."
As the one year anniversary of the shooting approaches, Nate says he wants people to know Ben Marconi was a special father and grandfather; and he would have done anything for his family and his community by serving as an officer.