Washington Nationals game suspended as police say four shots outside stadium – .

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Washington Nationals game suspended as police say four shots outside stadium – .


WASHINGTON – The game between the San Diego Padres and Washington was suspended in the sixth inning on Saturday night after a shootout outside Nationals Park that sparked echoes of gunfire inside the stadium and prompted fans to rush to get to safety in the shelter.
Two people were shot dead, said Dustin Sternbeck, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department. Investigators believe, based on preliminary information, that one of the victims was a stadium employee, he said.

Washington Police subsequently tweeted that “two other victims associated with this incident have visited area hospitals to treat gunshot wounds.”

“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. Players from both teams cleaned up the pitch.

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 display.

Borenstein said he quickly realized it was much more serious when he saw people in the stands start to march past and saw Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. “rushing forward.” ground “.

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 shooting was reported outside the gate of National Park Third Base. 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.

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.” “

The Padres were leading 8-4 when the game was interrupted. It will resume on Sunday afternoon, followed by the regular game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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