The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Gunmen threaten Messi, shoot up family-owned market
Gunmen threatened Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi in a written message left Thursday when they opened fire at a supermarket owned by his in-laws in Argentina, police said.
Nobody was injured in the early morning attack, and it was unclear why assailants would target Messi or the Unico supermarket in the country’s third-largest city of Rosario, owned by the family of his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo.
The city’s mayor, Pablo Javkin, went to the supermarket and lashed out at federal authorities over what he called their failure to curb a surge in drug-related violence in Rosario, located about 190 miles northwest of the capital of Buenos Aires.
Police said two men on a motorcycle fired at least a dozen shots into an Unico branch in the early hours, leaving a message that read: “Messi, we’re waiting for you. Javkin is also a drug trafficker, so he won’t take care of you.”
Messi has not commented. Considered by many to the greatest soccer player of all time, Messi is revered in Argentina, especially since he led the national team to the country’s first World Cup victory in 36 years in Qatar in December.
Messi currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain and spends much of his time overseas, though he often visits Rosario. The French team posted a photo on social media of Messi training on Thursday morning.
In Rosario, prosecutor Federico Rébola said authorities were reviewing security camera footage and that the investigation was “preliminary.” It was the first time Messi’s in-laws had received this kind of threat, he said.
Celia Arena, justice minister for Santa Fe province, where Rosario is located, said the attack amounted to “terrorism” by a “mafia” group meant to intimidate the broader population.
“The aim is to deliberately cause terror in the population and discourage those of us who are fighting against criminal violence, knowing that it will be an event of global significance,” Arena wrote in a social media post.
Javkin, a center-left politician in opposition to the ruling Peronist coalition, appeared to throw suspicion of complicity for the attack on both criminal gangs and federal security officials.
“I doubt everyone, even those who are supposed to protect us,” Javkin said in an interview with a local radio station.
He said that he had recently had “very strong discussions” with members of the federal security forces over the past couple of weeks demanding that they crack down on the city’s crime.
The federal government’s Security Minister Aníbal Fernández said drug-related violence was not a recent phenomenon in the city, and that Thursday’s attack was typical of what has happened there “for the last 20 years.”
QUICK TRADED AGAIN >> Jonathan Quick is on the move again, back to the Pacific Division to solve the Vegas Golden Knights’ latest goaltending quandary.
Vegas acquired Quick from Columbus on Thursday, less than 36 hours after the Los Angeles Kings traded the two-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender and 2014 playoff MVP to the Blue Jackets.
After losing Logan Thompson to an injury, the Golden Knights sent a 2025 seventh-round pick and journeyman goalie Michael Hutchinson to complete the deal with Columbus, which retained half of
Quick getting dealt again leaves Philadelphia winger James van Riemsdyk and Anaheim defenseman John Klingberg as the top players left to be traded before the Friday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
Already 81 players — including Quick twice and counting the contracts of Shea Weber and Jakub Voracek — and 55 draft picks have been traded since the All-Star break, leaving slim pickings for what’s usually a frantic final day.
Action resumed early Thursday when the NHLleading Boston Bruins acquired winger Tyler Bertuzzi from Detroit for a top-10 protected firstround pick in 2024 and a fourth-rounder in 2025, the latest move by a Stanley Cup contender to keep pace in the loaded Eastern Conference. The Red Wings are retaining half of Bertuzzi’s salary for the rest of the season.
KAMARA, LAMMONS PLEAD NOT GUILTY >> New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara and three other men pleaded not guilty Thursday in Nevada to charges they beat a man unconscious at a Las Vegas nightclub before the NFL’s 2022 Pro Bowl.
Kamara appeared alongside Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chris Lammons and co-defendants Darrin Young and Percy Harris in state court. They could face trial July 31, according to the schedule set by the judge.
The four are each charged with a felony and a misdemeanor for allegedly punching, kicking and stomping on Darnell Greene Jr. of Houston during an altercation outside an elevator.
“Not guilty, your honor,” said Kamara, who played in the league all-star game the day after the alleged attack.
Kamara’s attorneys have cast the altercation as selfdefense by Kamara and criticized prosecutors for taking the case to a grand jury, where testimony was taken and evidence presented behind closed doors.
Obituary JERRY RICHARDSON, CAROLINA
PANTHERS FOUNDER, DIES AT 86 >> Jerry Richardson, the Carolina Panthers founder and for years one of the NFL’s most influential owners until a scandal forced him to sell the team, has died. He was 86.
Richardson died peacefully Wednesday night at his Charlotte, N.C., home, the team said in a statement.
Richardson became the first former NFL player to own a team since Chicago’s George Halas when he landed the expansion Panthers in 1993.
A former teammate of Johnny Unitas who caught a touchdown pass in the Baltimore Colts’ victory over the New York Giants in the 1959 NFL championship game, Richardson only spent two years in the NFL before venturing into the restaurant business. He used his championship bonus money to open the first Hardee’s in Spartanburg, S.C., close to where he had attended Wofford College.
He went on to make his fortune in the restaurant business, becoming chief executive officer of Flagstar, the sixth-largest food service company in the country at the time.
Richardson’s reputation took a tremendous hit when he announced he was selling the Panthers on Dec. 17, 2017, — the same day Sports Illustrated reported that four former Panthers employees received significant monetary settlements due to inappropriate sexually suggestive language and actions by Richardson. It was also reported he used a racial slur directed toward a team scout.
Richardson is survived by his wife, Rosalind, son Mark and daughter Ashley Richardson Allen.