Becerra killed in night club shooting

January 9, 2006

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Elson Becerra, a forward on Colombia's national soccer team, was shot and killed along with a friend in a Cartagena discotheque, police said Monday.

The 27-year-old Becerra was dancing in a night club Sunday when attackers shot him four times, said Col. Mauricio Agudelo, police chief of Bolivar state.

Becerra and his friend, Alexander Rios apparently had an argument some days earlier with the unknown assailants who then came to the bar looking for them, the police chief said.

"The attackers were looking for a chance in the discotheque and in the middle of the music they committed the double crime," Agudelo said.

The suspects remain on the loose, but Agudelo said the police know who they are and expect arrests "at any moment."

Becerra played for Colombia when it won the Copa America in 2001 and played in four games for the national team in 2003 during qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup, according to the FIFA Web site.

Most recently, Becerra had played for a team in the United Arab Emirates.

The striker often is remembered for trying to help Cameroon player Marc-Vivien Foe after he collapsed on the field during a Confederations Cup game in 2003. The Cameroon star later died.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press