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Teen arrested in death of Rome police officer claimed as student by Santa Barbara City College

Posted at 3:08 PM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-28 18:10:26-04

ROME (AP) – Santa Barbara City College issued a statement saying 18-year-old Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth just finished his first year at the school.

A spokesperson for SBCC, Luz Reyes-Martin, said Natale-Hjorth attended the college but there was no record of 19-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder, the other teen arrested in connection with the death, “having been actively enrolled” at the school.

Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley also issued a statement, confirming both teens graduated in 2018.

“We were stunned to learn that two members of our community were arrested in connection to the killing of a policeman in Rome,” Tamalpais High School principal J.C. Farr said in a statement. Farr said the school “can add no additional information, other than offering sincere condolences to the family and friends who lost a loved one in this tragic situation.”

Natale-Hjorth and Elder remain in custody after officer Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed to death while looking into an alleged drug deal.

An Italian police commander said Natale-Hjorthwas illegally blindfolded before he was interrogated about the stabbing.

Italian newspapers published a photo of the teen blindfolded with what appears to be a scarf while handcuffed at the police station.