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Hodge Shot, Is in Fair Condition

April 09, 2006|From the Associated Press

Denver Nugget rookie guard Julius Hodge was shot and wounded early Saturday while driving on a highway after visiting a nightclub but is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.

Sheriff's deputies said the 22-year-old player was struck in his lower body. The team said he was in fair condition.

Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said Hodge had visited a friend who worked at the club as a musician, but the motive for the shooting wasn't known and no suspects were in custody.

"There was no indication of an altercation before the shooting," Darr said.

Nugget Coach George Karl said he believes Hodge, a former Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year at North Carolina State, was hit three times in his legs.

"The preliminary reports are that he's going to be fine. He should be able to play again in two to three weeks," Karl said.

Nugget General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe said Hodge was in good spirits when the two talked.

"He's obviously a little shaken up, but he's doing fine," Vandeweghe said.

Hodge was on Interstate 76 in north Denver at about 2 a.m. when another vehicle pulled alongside and someone fired several shots, Adams County Sheriff's Sgt. Louis Dixon said. A passenger in Hodge's vehicle flagged down another motorist, who took Hodge and the passenger to the hospital.

Darr said Hodge's passenger was "mildly injured." Darr wouldn't identify the hospital.

Witnesses told investigators two people may have been in the shooter's car. Dixon said investigators don't know the name of the motorist who stopped and are hoping that motorist and any other witnesses come forward.

Dixon said Hodge's passenger has been interviewed and is not a suspect.

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