Gunmen kill 3 people in football-related shooting

Police said Monday that gunmen opened fired on Honduran football

fans from a passing automobile, killing three people as they walked

toward a stadium for a match.

Police said the drive-by shooting took place Sunday as about 100

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.

Police spokesman Leonel Sauceda speculated that the attackers

could be gang members and supporters of Honduran club Olimpia, a

bitter rival of Motagua. Sauceda said the violent street gangs Mara

Salvatrucha and La 18, who are involved in drug trafficking and

organized crime, could have infiltrated certain clubs.

The dead were identified on Monday as Francisco Portillo, 22;

Jonathan Cruz, 17, and Karol Martinez, 20.

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 training when the goalkeeper started

insulting Carranza and complaining that he had blamed him for the

2-2 draw against Vida last week.

Carranza moved on to interview midfielder Jorge Claros. Moments

later, Morales appeared with an air gun and shot Carranza three

times before fleeing.

Diez reported Saturday that Morales had called Carranza three

times to apologize but the reporter did not accept his apology.

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.” He did not specify what those would be.