A DEA officer watches as Colombian former paramilitary commanders arrives at the Opa-Locka airport in Miami, Florida May 13, 2008. (Photo : Reuters)
On Friday, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Michael McKinley announced that a DEA agent died in a robbery attempt in Bogota, the New York Times reported.
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The DEA later identified the agent as 43-year-old Special Agent James "Terry" Watson, who was murdered Thursday night while on temporary duty in the Colombian capital.
According to the New York Times, McKinley told local Radio Caracol that the special agent was leaving a Bogota restaurant with friends after the NBA Finals when the robbery attempt occurred. Special Agent Watson, who was only on temporary duty in Bogota, had been assigned to the DEA Cartagena, Colombia office. A press release by the DEA stated that both Colombian and U.S. authorities were investigating Watson's murder.
In his interview with Radio Caracol, McKinley said he was working with Colombia's National Police to investigate the murder. According to Gen. Camilo Cabana of the National Police, Watson had taken a taxi, which was intercepted by another taxi three blocks away. Cabana added that two men got out of the other taxi, tried to pull Watson out of his taxi and stabbed him three times in the chest and once in the leg.
"We are clarifying the facts and picking up leads that will take us to those that are responsible," McKinley told Radio Caracol. The ambassador also called for the help of the locals of Parque de la 93, where the incident occurred. The Huffington Post reported that a 50 million pesos ($25,800) reward is being offered by the police department for information leading to the arrest of the assailants.
DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart stated, "We are all saddened by this devastating loss of a member of the DEA family. Terry was a brave a 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."
According to the DEA's press release, Watson had previously served in Honolulu, Hawaii and San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as serving three deployments to Afghanistan. Before working for the DEA, Watson worked for the U.S. Marshals Service and served in the U.S. Army, the DEA confirmed.