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Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Reds outfielder shot and dragged to death


CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was found dead Wednesday on a residential street after he was shot and apparently run over in a Phoenix suburb, police said.

Chandler police said the death was being treated as a homicide.

A man was being held by police for questioning. No charges had been filed as of early evening.

Stenson, 25, made his major league debut this season and played 37 games for the Reds. He hit .247 with three home runs and 13 RBIss.

"We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to Dernell's family and his friends, teammates and coaches," Reds spokesman Rob Butcher said.

Stenson was in the Phoenix area playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.

Stenson's body was found after police received a call around 1:45 a.m. that shots had been fired. Witnesses told police a black SUV was seen leaving the area.

About 3:45 a.m., Mesa police found a vehicle matching the description -- it was registered to Stenson.

The man found driving the vehicle was being held by Chandler police.

Stenson was a third-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1996. He was claimed off waivers by Cincinnati on March 1.

"This is really awful," said Davona Vojovich, a friend of Stenson's who was outside Scottsdale Stadium, told the East Valley Tribune. "I can't believe this happened."

The Arizona Fall League is designed to help develop some of baseball's top prospects. League officials canceled games Wednesday and Thursday.