San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals recall harrowing scene day after shots fired outside park

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ESPN 18 July, 2021 - 01:23pm 17 views

Why was the Washington Nationals game postponed today?

A reported shooting outside the third-base gate at Nationals Park during the game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres forced fans and players to run for cover Saturday night. The game, which was in the sixth inning, was postponed to Sunday. FOXSports.comPadres-Nationals postponed after shooting outside stadium

When the gunshots started to echo all around Nationals Park, San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. quickly thought about the team's family members and friends in the seats.

Tatis bolted from the bench down the left-field line Saturday night, helped open a gate to the stands and began ushering a group back to the dugout to shelter.

"Our family, loved ones, little kids. Feel like somebody needed to go get them," Tatis said Sunday. "I feel like the safest place was the clubhouse and we were trying to get our families into a safe place."

The top half of the sixth inning in the game between the Padres and Washington Nationals had just ended in front of about 33,000 fans when several shots were heard from an incident that occurred on South Capitol Street, just outside the third-base side of the stadium.

But in the moment, no one knew whether the rapid series of shots was coming from inside the ballpark or beyond.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler was on his way to see plate umpire Jordan Baker about a pitching change in a game San Diego led 8-4.

"He's like, 'Did you hear that?'" Tingler recalled Baker saying. "I'm like, 'Yeah, I think so,' and it kind of registered what it possibly could have been and obviously it was just a nightmare."

A chaotic scene quickly developed. As the Padres cleared the field, some fans rushed to leave the stadium while others ducked and tried to hide, looking for cover.

"Everybody running. It was crazy. You couldn't figure out what was going on. If it was one or two people," Tatis said. "I was just trying to get to the safest place and get our families."

Tatis and teammates Manny Machado and Wil Myers drew praise for helping guide -- and even carry -- fans out of harm's way.

"The situation changed immediately," Tatis said. "There's no longer players, fans. I feel like everybody's just people, human beings trying to be secure."

The game was halted then and completed on Sunday, with the Padres finishing off a 10-4 win. The teams were then set to play the regularly scheduled game.

The shooting, an exchange of gunfire between people in two cars, left three people injured, according to Ashan Benedict, the Metropolitan Police Department's executive assistant police chief. One of the people who was shot was a woman who was attending the game and who was struck while she was outside the stadium, he said Saturday night. Her injuries weren't considered life-threatening.

Two people who were in one of the cars later walked into a local hospital with gunshot wounds and were being questioned by investigators, Benedict said, and the extent of their injuries wasn't immediately clear. Investigators were still trying to locate the second vehicle involved in the shooting.

As the shots rang out, Nationals manager Davey Martinez was making sure his players were safe.

"Then I started worrying about their families and trying to do the best I could to get them down to the players," Martinez said. "And I started worrying about the fans as well."

Seeing the reaction on the third-base side of the stadium, fans on the first-base side began fleeing their seats as well. Some of them went down to the field.

"There was a bunch of fans, they were in our dugout and I wanted to get them safe as well," Martinez said. "We got them in through the tunnel and got them in safely and tried to keep them safe. For me it was just about protecting our people and doing the best I can to stay calm."

Like Tingler, Martinez got emotional recounting the previous night's events.

Minutes after the shots were heard, a message appeared on the Nationals Park scoreboard saying that the incident was outside the park and fans should remain inside. About 10 minutes later, fans were instructed to leave by the center- and right-field gates.

"We started to get word that everything happened right outside the stadium," Tingler said. "That's when we started to feel a little bit better. You never feel great."

Read full article at ESPN

Padres manager 'couldn't be any more proud' after Machado, Tatis, others help fans into dugout during shooting

CBS Sports 18 July, 2021 - 03:00pm

Saturday night, a shooting outside Nationals Park forced the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres to suspend their game in the sixth inning. The shots could be heard during the television and radio broadcasts, and the shooting caused a panic inside the ballpark. Three people were shot in the incident, which was unrelated to the ballgame, according to police.

Immediately following the shots, when it was still unclear whether the shooting took place inside or outside the ballpark, Padres players, including Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., led fans into the San Diego dugout for safety. Here are folks huddled inside the dugout while awaiting word on the situation:

Just ended up in the Padres dugout bc of shooting. Thank you Manny Machado and @Padres pic.twitter.com/B2GaJ7Wt6V

Yes, we are safe now. Was it scary? Absolutely. Happened in section 112, I was in 114. We all hit the deck. Machado, Myers, and Tatis all came out and sent fans to the dugout. I have nothing but respect for them and the @padres. The cops locked the gate, they opened it.

"The situation changed immediately," Tatis told reporters on Sunday, according to MLB.com's AJ Cassavell. "There's no longer players, fans. Everybody's just people, just human beings out there."    

"They thought maybe the dugout could've been the safest place, and they led and welcomed and guided people in there," Padres manager Jayce Tingler added, according to The Athletic's Dennis Lin. "Couldn't be any more proud to have those players a part of our team."

Players, including Fernando Tatis Jr. Just ran into stands and grabbed family members and brought them to clubhouse. pic.twitter.com/DlC1bSv3I7

On the other side of the field, Nationals players ushered their families to safety through the dugout and into the clubhouse, and also guided some fans into the dugout as well.

"For me, it was just about protecting our people, our own, and just trying to stay calm," Nationals skipper Dave Martinez told reporters, including Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports. "... I love this city. This city's my home. It can get crazy. We all know that. And we all want to feel safe. I can tell you that inside this ballpark, I feel safer than ever."

The game was suspended with San Diego holding an 8-4 lead (box score). The game will be resumed at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, then will be followed by their regular scheduled series finale.

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