Baltimore Orioles pitcher surrenders over shooting

SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Alfredo Simon surrendered to police in the Dominican Republic on Monday to face accusations he fired shots during New Year celebrations that killed one man and wounded another.

The shooting occurred early on Saturday at a park in Luperon, 118 miles north of the capital, Santo Domingo.

Police had wanted to interview Simon, 29, who also plays for the local Gigantes de Cibao team, over the shooting in which a 25-year-old man was killed by a bullet in the thorax and his 17-year-old brother suffered a bullet wound in the arm.

According to local police, Simon told them that he fired into the air during the New Year celebrations, and had not intended to harm anyone. But witnesses cited by police said Simon was involved in an argument before the shooting.

In the Dominican Republic, a small Caribbean state that occupies the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola, people sometimes shoot into the air during enthusiastic festivities to greet the New Year.

Simon had a record of four wins, two losses and 17 saves with an earned run average of 4.93 in 49 games with the Orioles in 2010.

(Reporting by Manuel Jimenez; Writing by Pascal Fletcher)