Gunmen kill 3 people in soccer-related shooting

Police have identified three soccer fans who were killed in a

drive-by shooting as crowds walked toward a stadium.

The shooting occurred Sunday as hundreds of Motagua fans headed

to Tegucigalpa’s national stadium for a league match against Real

Espana.

Three other people were injured. Their conditions were not

immediately clear Monday.

Police spokesman Leonel Sauceda identified the dead as Francisco

Portillo, 22; Jonathan Cruz, 17, and Karol Martinez, 20.

Sauceda speculated the attackers could be gang members and

supporters of Honduran club Olimpia, bitter rivals of Motagua.

Sauceda said the hooligan factions may have been infiltrated by

members of the violent street gangs Mara Salvatrucha and La 18. The

street gangs are involved in drug trafficking and organized

crime.

The shooting is at least the fifth similar incident in the last

three years in Honduras, one of the most dangerous countries in

Latin America.

It was the second violent incident in two days involving

Motagua, although the two appeared unrelated.

On Friday, Motagua goalkeeper Donaldo Morales shot a newspaper

reporter with an air gun because he was angry that the journalist

had criticized him in an article.

Saul Carranza, a reporter for the sports daily Diez, was trying

to interview Morales after a practice Friday when the goalkeeper

started insulting him and complaining that the reporter had blamed

him for a 2-2 draw last week against Vida.

Carranza moved on to interview midfielder Jorge Claros. Moments

later, Morales appeared with the air gun, shot Carranza three times

and fled.

Diez reported in its Saturday edition that Morales called

Carranza three times to apologize but the reporter did not

accept.

Carranza did not press charges against Morales, but the

newspaper said he would if the goalkeeper approached the reporter

again.

Motagua president Pedro Atala condemned Morales’ behavior in a

statement and promised to ”apply all the sanctions that the

situation deserves,” although he did not specify what those would

be.