A terrifying situation unfolded in Washington on Saturday night as gunshots were fired outside the ballpark during the sixth inning of the Nationals-Padres game.
Players were leaving the field after San Diego’s three-run top of the frame when a series of loud booms could be heard. While there were thunderstorms in the forecast, they had not arrived yet. The incredibly scary part was that nobody knew where the gunfire sound was coming from. On the Nationals’ radio broadcast, it was a very clear series of shots.
D.C. Police’s initial report was that two people were shot outside Nationals Park, which was updated with two more people taking themselves to the hospital with gunshot wounds. UPDATE, 12:21 a.m.: It appears that one of the victims was counted twice between those bulletins, as executive assistant police chief Ashan Benedict, as reported by The Associated Press, said three people were injured in the shooting.
One of the victims was a fan who had been at the game but was outside when the shots were fired, as police said it was an exchange of bullets between two cars. The Undefeated columnist Clinton Yates, who previously worked at The Washington Post, tweeted a good thread about the way that the area around the ballpark was developed and some of the underlying issues of urban policy that continue now with D.C. United’s stadium.
Back inside the stadium, it took time for word to reach inside the stadium that the incident took place outside on busy South Capitol Street, and that led to a chaotic scene on the concourses.
Amid the chaos of the uncertain situation, Padres star Manny Machado, and reportedly Fernando Tatis Jr., opened the field gate to let fans find safety in the visiting dugout.
Meanwhile, Nationals starter Patrick Corbin, who had just come out of the game during the sixth inning, could be found on the concourse, talking on the phone.
Fans were initially told to stay inside the stadium because of the incident being outside, then asked to leave through the outfield gates, with the police investigation continuing outside the third base gate.
Deadspin’s Rob Parker was at the game, and thankfully, as well as everyone else in the ballpark, okay.
Naturally, the game was suspended, with San Diego holding an 8-4 lead. It will be resumed on Sunday afternoon before the regularly scheduled game.
This is a developing story.