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Police: Slain Italy cop didn’t have gun when attacked

Posted at 4:12 AM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 07:12:20-04

ROME (AP) — Italian authorities say a carabinieri police officer who was fatally stabbed during a confrontation with two American teenagers over a botched drug deal had forgotten his gun that night — but that regardless, there wasn’t time for him or his partner to use their weapons and the suspects then fled.

Carabineri Gen. Francesco Gargaro defended the police response during a press conference Tuesday, providing the first details about the confrontation in which Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega was fatally stabbed.

Americans Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, 18, were arrested early Friday in the slaying of Cerciello Rega.

He and his partner, Andrea Varriale, had responded to the scene after a man reported to police that the two Americans had stolen his bag during a drug deal.