Home News Fans scramble, four people shot as bullets fly during Nationals baseball game

Fans scramble, four people shot as bullets fly during Nationals baseball game


Kevin Acee

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Padres’ game against the Nationals on Saturday night was halted in the middle of the sixth inning when a shooting occurred outside the ballpark.

As Padres reliever Pierce Johnson was running in from the bullpen and umpires conferred with the head groundskeeper at Nationals Park, a sound was heard outside the ballpark on the third-base side.

Crew chief Chris Carlson suddenly motioned for Padres players to leave the field and walked to the visitors’ dugout where he appeared to explain to manager Jayce Tingler and others what was happening as he pointed in the direction of the sound.

At the same time, fans began running out of the gate beyond center field while others ran into the stands from the area near where the shots were heard.

Rain was in the forecast and was expected to begin falling imminently, adding to the confusion. Many thought a rain delay had begun.

Just a couple minutes later, there was another loud bang and people all over the stadium began scurrying and ducking. There were yells for people to take cover.

Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. ran onto the field, followed by at least two other teammates. They sprinted down the third-base line and grabbed family members from the stands and ran with them back toward the visitors’ dugout.

The exodus onto the field continued, as dozens of clearly scared fans were let onto the field and ran to the Padres dugout. It appeared Padres third baseman Manny Machado was among those facilitating fans leaving the stands and moving to shelter.

A short while later, an announcement over the public address system informed fans “the incident has been reported to be outside the stadium” and urged fans to remain inside the ballpark. Fans later were told they could exit gates beyond the outfield.

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department tweeted they were “responding to a shooting in the 1500 block of South Capitol Street, SW, in which two people where shot outside of Nationals Park. This is currently an active investigation and it appears there is no ongoing threat at this time.”

A second tweet said two additional victims “associated with this incident walked into area hospitals for treatment of gunshot wounds.”

The game, which the Padres led 8-4, will be resumed at 10:05 a.m. PT Sunday. The series finale, originally scheduled for that time, will follow.

The Padres, who scored in eight of nine innings in a 24-8 victory on Friday, scored in the first three innings of Saturday’s game and led 5-1 when Ryan Zimmerman got the Nationals to 5-4 with a three-run homer off Blake Snell in the bottom of the third.

Snell pitched through the fourth, and Craig Stammen threw a scoreless fifth before the Padres scored three runs in the top of the sixth.

The game was stopped at 9:30 p.m. ET. Shortly after 10 p.m., with the ballpark virtually empty, the grounds crew began doing its usual postgame infield maintenance.

Neither team was available for comment after the incident.

©2021 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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