Lee Elder Finnegan Bio
Lee Elder Finnegan confessed to stabbing 35-year-old paramilitary policeman Mario Cerciello Rega to death during an apparent drug deal gone wrong, Italian authorities said Saturday.
Prosecutors said in the order that Finnegan Lee Elder is the main suspect, accusing him of repeatedly stabbing Carabinieri paramilitary policeman Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, who was investigating the theft of a bag https://t.co/WgBcn4fTDx
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) July 27, 2019
Lee Elder Finnegan Age
He is 19 years old.
Who is Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth
A second California native, Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, 18, was also involved in the scuffle that led to Rega’s death, police say.
Italian Police Investigation Reports
Two San Francisco teens on a ‘drug holiday’ in Rome have been arrested on charges of murder and attempted extortion in connection with the fatal stabbing of a police officer on Friday. Lee Elder Finnegan, 19, confessed to stabbing 35-year-old policeman Mario Cerciello Rega pic.twitter.com/cTaRZGbkjk
— Motivational (@_M0tivati0nal_) July 27, 2019
In a statement, Roman police revealed that both of the men had been interrogated by Carabinieri officials and, ‘in the face of overwhelming evidence’, they eventually confessed to the crimes.
‘It was me, but I didn’t think he was a policeman,’ Finnegan is said to have told investigators. ‘I was afraid of being cheated again.’
Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth and Lee Elder Finnegan Arrest
Police said they arrested the two American teens on Friday as they were preparing to check out of their Rome hotel and fly home.
#BREAKING 2 San Francisco men are in custody for the alleged murder of an Italian Police Officer. Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth and Finnegan Lee Elder, both 19, are named as the suspects in the killing of 35 y.o. Carabinieri PD Officer Mario Cerciello Rega. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/jZ58ezynOk
— John Zuchelli (@tvzuke) July 27, 2019
Mario Rega Cerciello Death
Officer Mario Rega Cerciello died after being stabbed eight times as he and a colleague tried to arrest two men following a complaint for theft. Cerciello, 35, had only recently returned from his honeymoon.
His killing took on a political aspect when the country’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, responding to initial reports that the suspects were North African, denounced the killers as “bastards”.
Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth and Lee Elder Finnegan Charged
Prosecutors have charged them over the killing, which occurred in the small hours of Friday morning in Rome’s city center.
“Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, both from San Francisco. Their lawyers could not be immediately reached.”https://t.co/ypxVWcKja6
— Senza Leader (@giuseppemaria) July 27, 2019
A statement from Italian police said that the two Americans had confessed to stealing a bag from an Italian. They were demanding 100 euros ($111) and a gramme of cocaine for its return.
The victim of the theft tipped off the police, but when the two officers went to arrest the pair, one of them pulled a knife.
Italian media reports, citing investigators, said that the two US teenagers told police that the man they had stolen from had sold them aspirin powder instead of cocaine.
The suspect who confessed to stabbing Cerciello said he had taken the officers for friends of the alleged dealer and had panicked.
Police said surveillance cameras helped them track the pair to their four-star hotel where they arrested them. Their bags were packed and they had been planning to fly home that same evening.
Mario Rega Cerciello Funeral
Cerciello is to be buried on Monday in his home town at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, southern Italy.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Lee Elder Finnegan, 19, confessed to fatally stabbing 35-year-old paramilitary policeman Mario Cerciello Rega on Friday night, police said
- A second US citizen, Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, 18, was also present at the time of the fatal stabbing
- The two teens are said to have told officials they’d been looking to buy drugs in Rome’s Trastevere district at 2am but were sold crushed aspirin instead
- They were then captured on CCTV returning to track down the dealer who had sold them the fake cocaine but only managed to find an associate
- The teens stole his backpack and demanded 100 Euros and a gram of drugs for its return. The man agreed but called police to recover it from them instead
- A scuffle broke out where Finnegan stabbed Rega eight times, fatally striking him in the heart. The two men ‘didn’t hesitate’ to attack the cops
- Both of the teens have been placed in custody for aggravated homicide and attempted extortion but are yet to be formally charged