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Italy: Candlelight vigil marks one year since killing of Italian policeman

Rome, Italy: A candlelight vigil was held in Rome on Friday, July 24 to mark one year since the killing of Mario Cerciello Rega, an Italian officer with the Carabinieri military police.

Cerciello Rega's wife laid flowers at a makeshift memorial where the killing took place as she joined the vigil alongside others, including police officers. Antonio Serpi, the national secretary-general of Sim Carabinieri - the Italian union of the Carabinieri military police - urged people, including politicians, to reflect on the crime that shook Italy.

Cerciello Rega, a 35-year-old police officer, was unarmed and in plain clothes when he was repeatedly stabbed to death in the early morning of July 26, 2019. An American teenager, Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, is accused of the killing, which occurred the affluent Rome district of Prati while Cerciello Rega was trying to arrest him and fellow student Natale-Hjorth on suspicion of stealing a backpack.
The policeman and another officer, Andrea Varriale - who was allegedly injured in the incident by Natalje-Hjorth - had been called to the scene after the pair allegedly stole the backpack from a drug-dealer who they believed had cheated them.

Cerciello Rega was stabbed 11 times with an 18-cm (7-inch) knife generally used by U.S. Marine Corps that Elder brought to Italy from the United States, police said. The Americans were arrested in their hotel room at the "Le Meridien Visconti Rome" in Prati.

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