A U.S. federal agent working in Colombia was killed Thursday night by robbers after leaving a restaurant in the country's capital, Bogota.
Special Agent James "Terry" Watson, 43, who had been for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Colombia for a year and a half, had gone out to eat and watch the NBA finals game, said Michael McKinley, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia.
Watson died after being stabbed four times, according to Colombian authorities.
Watson was assigned to the DEA’s Cartagena office and was on temporary duty in Bogota. Americans investigators are taking part in the murder investigation.
“We are all saddened by this devastating loss of a member of the DEA family,” DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a press release. “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.”
McKinley told local Radio Caracol that the anti-drug agent had left a Bogota restaurant Thursday night. He said the robbery attempt occurred after the agent got into a taxi.
Col. Camilo Cabana of the Colombian National Police said that the taxi Watson was riding in was intercepted by another cab about three blocks from the restaurant. Two men got out and tried to pull Watson out of the cab, stabbing him three times in the chest and once in the leg, Cabana said.
The assailants abandoned the dying agent in the street. He was spotted shortly afterward by local police officers and then he was taken to a clinic several blocks away -- but had already died.
Police were reviewing area security cameras in hopes of identifying the assailants. The police department has offered a reward of 50 million pesos (about $25,000) for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
In addition to serving in Colombia, Watson had served in Honolulu, Hawaii and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He also served on three deployments to Afghanistan, conducting counter-narcotics missions as a member of DEA’s FAST program, according to the agency.
Prior to becoming a DEA agent, Watson worked for the U.S. Marshals Service and served in the United States Army.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.