A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent was killed in Bogota while fighting off an apparent robbery attempt, a U.S. official told local Radio Caracol on Friday.
U.S. Ambassador Michael McKinley told the station that the robbery attempt occurred after Special Agent James "Terry" Watson, a 13-year veteran anti-drug agent, left a meeting with friends at a Bogota restaurant and got into a taxi.
Colonel Camilo Cabana of the National Police said that the taxi Watson was riding in was intercepted by another cab about three blocks from the restaurant, where two men got out and tried to pull the American out of the vehicle. Watson, 43, put up a fight, but the attackers stabbed him three times in the chest and once in the leg, according to Cabana. The attackers dumped him out of the vehicle onto the street, where patrol officers found him shortly afterward.
Gen. Jose Roberto Leon, director of Colombia's National Police, said Watson was taken to a clinic several blocks away but had already died.
Watson was usually assigned to the DEA office in Cartagena, Colombia, but was temporarily doing a drug enforcement assignment in the capital Bogota.
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"We are all saddened by this devastating loss of a member of the DEA family," DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in a statement. "Terry was a brave and talented DEA special agent who served our agency for 13 years. These are the worst days for anyone in law enforcement and we grieve Terry's loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry's wife and family, and we will forever carry his memory in our hearts."
The police department is reviewing area security cameras and has offered a $25,800 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers.