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NAMES IN THE NEWS : Hatfield Saw Shooting, Kept Mum

From Times wire services

Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore.) says he witnessed a shooting in the nation’s capital but sped away without notifying police.

“I didn’t report it because (police) are so overwhelmed. . . . All I’d be able to say is somebody shot at somebody else,” Hatfield said in today’s Salem Statesman Journal. “I’m not saying I shouldn’t have reported it, but at that one time and place my thought was to escape--get out of there.”

Hatfield said he and his family were driving to their Washington home from a restaurant on March 14 when they saw a man shoot at another across the street about six blocks from the Capitol.

“I slammed on the brakes as soon as I saw a person on the side of the street,” Hatfield said. “Five shots rang out. We heard the shots and saw the flare of the gun.”

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He said the man at whom the shots were fired began running, then limping, toward a waiting car. The car sped away when the man climbed inside, he said. As soon as the gunman lowered his weapon, Hatfield said, “Wham--I took off.”


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