One of the two American teenagers accused of killing an Italian policeman Friday in Rome is a student at Santa Barbara City College.
Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth was enrolled at City College and has just completed his first year, college spokeswoman Luz Reyes-Martin confirmed in an email Monday.
“The killing of Italian Officer Mario Rega is tragic and devastating. Our hearts go out to his family and colleagues at this difficult time,” Ms. Reyes-Martin said.
The college has no record of Finnegan Elder, the other teen involved in the killing, she said.
No other information is available, Ms. Reyes-Martin said.
Mr. Natale-Hjorth, 18, and Mr. Elder, 19, were arrested Friday in Rome on suspicion of stabbing Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega 11 times during a botched drug deal, according to Italian news reports.
The policeman was a newlywed who had just returned from his honeymoon.
The teens are believed to have used a Ka-Bar trench dagger, which was first adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, police say.
Authorities believe the suspects took the 7-inch knife with them on the plane, Italy’s Corriere della Sera reported. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration does allow passengers to travel with knives in their checked bags as long as they’re securely wrapped.
The Americans have confessed, although they have blamed each other for the actual stabbing, authorities said.
Vice Brigadier Rega, 35, and another officer were in plain clothes when they confronted the teens shortly after a drug deal had gone wrong. Police believe Mr. Natale-Hjorth repeatedly punched the second officer while Mr. Elder stabbed Vice Brigadier Rega.
Tribune News Service contributed to this report.