Gunmen kill 3 people in football-related shooting

BY foxsports • September 20, 2010

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.

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