A 19-year-old American tourist confessed to killing an Italian policeman on Friday in Rome who was investigating the theft of a bag and cellphone.
The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Unknown Investigator, two Americans said, allegedly grabbing a drug dealer's bag with the phone and cash after cheating on them by giving them aspirin instead of the drugs they wanted. The owner of the bag called his phone and one of the thieves offered to sell it back for $ 100 (US $ 112).
The owner called the police after he and the thief had arranged a meeting for barter, Reuters reported.
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Two paramilitary plainclothes police officers arrived at around 3:00 am at the meeting venue. During a fight, the paramilitary Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, was stabbed eight times, the news agency said. The officer had just returned from his honeymoon a few days earlier with his longtime sweetheart.
He was stabbed in the heart and the back and died shortly afterwards in a hospital.
"A hunt is underway in Rome to catch her, the bastard who stabbed a carabinieri this evening," tweeted Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who commanded the state police.
He swore the perpetrators, "the rest of their days Hard work to be done in prison. "
RAI Radio According to reports, the Americans were seen on a surveillance video as they apparently ran away with the bag that had been stolen in the Trastevere district because of its buzzing nightlife among tourists and young Italians
The Carabinieri Police Corps did not immediately confirm the alleged confession. The prosecutors apparently interrogated the Americans early Saturday at a Carabinieri station in Rome.
The Americans reportedly lived in an upscale hotel near where Rega was stabbed, a police officer said. Their identities and hometowns were not published immediately.
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Cerciello Rega was described as generous and friendly by people who knew him. His station commander Sandro Ottaviani reported that he regularly accompanied people in need to a religious neighborhood in the city of Loreto.
Others said he often looked for homeless people who lived in Rome Central Station, distributing meals and clothing to the needy. Sometimes he bought them from his own pocket for lunch, they said.
Cerciello Regas funeral will take place on Monday, ANSA reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.