The shooting, a shootout between people in two cars, left three people injured, according to Ashan Benedict, executive assistant police chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. One of those shot was a woman attending the match who was beaten while outside the stadium, he said. His injuries were not considered life threatening.
Two people who were in one of the cars later entered a local hospital with gunshot wounds and were interviewed by investigators, Benedict said, and the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear. Investigators were still trying to locate the second vehicle involved in the shooting.
The gunfire caused panic among fans inside the stadium, some of whom hid under tables and behind seats as announcers warned people to stay inside the park.
“It was just a chaotic scene,” referee team chief Mark Carlson told The Associated Press. “We heard what sounded like rapid gunfire. We didn’t know where it came from.
The Padres had just taken the pitch for the bottom of the sixth when several loud noises were heard from the left side of the stadium.
Fans sitting in left field quickly started to come out the center field gate. Soon after, fans on the first base side began to quickly move out of their seats.
Some fans crowded into the Padres shelter on the third base side to take cover, while sirens could be heard from outside the park.
Ted Borenstein, 26, was at the game with his girlfriend and best friend, celebrating his birthday and “having a good time” when he heard two pops. He said the group thought it was training for a fireworks show.
Borenstein said he quickly realized it was much more serious when he saw people in the stands start to march past and watched Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
In the stadium’s Diamond Club, where he and his friends were, people were hiding under tables and chairs, thinking there was a shooter inside the stadium.
“People were on the ground, a little petrified, trying to calm the younger ones,” he said.
“I was surprised, I was scared,” he said.
The Nationals initially announced that there had been an incident outside the stadium and posted a message on the scoreboard telling fans to stay inside the stadium.
About 10 minutes later, the team tweeted, “A shootout has been reported outside the Nationals Park Base Third Gate. Fans are encouraged to leave the stadium through the CF and RF gates at this time. “
More than two dozen police cars, ambulances and fire engines were in the street outside the stadium’s third base and a police helicopter flew overhead.
The shooting comes as Washington, like many other cities in the United States, faces a growing number of violent crime and homicides. A 6-year-old girl was killed and five others were injured in a shooting Friday night about three miles from Nationals Park.
Just hours before Saturday night’s shooting, Washington’s mayor and police chief, along with federal law enforcement officials, announced a $ 60,000 reward for information in the case.
By nightfall, they had another incident to investigate.
Arman Ramnath, 27, from Arlington, Va., And a recent law school graduate, said he and a friend were sitting on the side of Nationals Park third base when they heard what sounded like to a fireworks display.
“We weren’t sure what it was. Then everyone started to dodge, ”Ramnath said.
Ramnath said he and his friend ended up hiding behind the seats for five minutes or more. After a while, people started to get up and go, he said, but announcements from the stadium told fans to wait. Finally, they were allowed to leave.
“It was very surreal. I didn’t really know how to react, ”Ramnath said. “I mean, you hear about it… but you never expect it to be anything to affect you.” “
Police initially said they believed one of the victims was working in the stadium, but this was not the case.
The Padres were leading 8-4 when the game was interrupted. It will resume on Sunday afternoon, followed by the regular game. Officials said fans should expect to see an increased police presence during Sunday’s game.
Tatis had four hits for San Diego. Ryan Zimmerman a circuit for Washington.
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