Ambassador to Colombia Michael McKinley of the U.S. State Department has announced that DEA Special Agent James “Terry” Watson, 43, was killed Thursday night in what appears to be a robbery attempt.

Agent Watson attended a meeting with friends at a local restaurant in Bogota and had just left after hailing a cab.  The cab was traveling down the road when it was intercepted about three blocks from the restaurant. Two men jumped out of the intercepting vehicle and attempted to drag Agent Watson from the cab.  During the incident, Agent Watson was stabbed four times.  The assailants then fled the scene leaving Agent Watson in the street.

The possibility of his death being related to his employment has not been mentioned in any release of information by authorities, but the incident does have those overtones with a robbery attempt being a cover for a motive of murder or kidnapping.  All authorities remain suspiciously silent and are not releasing any further information.

A police patrol found Agent Watson lying in the street a short time later.  He was taken to a local hospital a few blocks away for treatment, but he had already expired.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C. stated that Special Agent James Watson was assigned to the DEA office in Cartagena, Colombia, but was on a temporary assignment in Bogota.

General Jose Roberto Leon, director of Colombia’s National Police, confirmed that Watson was 43 years of age and that he had worked in the country for about a year and a half.

Colonel Camilo Cabana of the 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 Agent Watson out of the vehicle. During the assault or possible kidnapping attempt, Agent Watson was stabbed three times in the chest and once in the leg.

Colonel Cabana stated that the National Police were reviewing area security cameras in hopes of identifying the assailants. The police department has offered a reward of 50 million pesos ($25,800) for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.  DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in the statement, “We are all saddened by this devastating loss”. “Terry was a brave and talented DEA special agent who served our agency for 13 years.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry’s wife and family, and we will forever carry his memory in our hearts.”

In addition to serving in Colombia, Agent Watson has served in the DEA offices in Honolulu, Hawaii and San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He was also deployed on three occasions to Afghanistan. Prior to his serving with the DEA, Watson worked for the U.S. Marshals Service.  Agent Watson also served in the United States Army.

Special Agent James Watson, gone but never forgotten.  EOW: Thursday, June 20, 2013

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