Washington Nationals Game Suspended Following Sunday Night Shooting Outside Stadium

by Josh Lanier

The Nationals and Padres will have to finish Saturday night’s game today after playing Sunday’s scheduled match-up. Umpires suspended play for last night’s game after a shooting took take outside of the stadium.

Metropolitan police said men inside two cars opened fire at one another. Three people were shot in the melee. One was a woman who was attending Saturday night’s game. Doctors said her injuries are non-life-threatening. Two men walked into the hospital later that night with gunshot wounds, the Baltimore Sun said.

Police are questioning those men, but police haven’t located the second vehicle as of Sunday afternoon.

While pandemonium reigned outside the stadium, inside fans were unsure what had happened.

“It was just a chaotic scene,” umpire crew chief Mark Carlson told The Associated Press. “We heard what sounded like rapid gunfire. We didn’t know where it was coming from.”

WTOP’s Dan Friedell said it was pandemonium as fans rushed out of the ballpark, not realizing the shooting was taking place outside.

“Next thing we know, we can see hundreds, perhaps thousands of fans, leaving their seats behind the center-field bullpen and the San Diego Padres bullpen — running toward the center field exit … it’s just completely unclear,” Friedell said.

ESPN said some fans rushed out of the stadium, while others took refuge inside the Padres’ dugout and in the restaurants at the stadium.

Police Ask For Help In Nationals Park Shooting

The Nationals at first put a message up asking everyone to stay seated, but that did little to calm the crowd. The team eventually told fans to use the center field and right field exits, as the shooting took place on the third-base side, a tweet from the team said.

Arman Ramnath and a friend were sitting along the third-base line and thought the noise was just firecrackers. But then everyone started to duck behind their seats.

“It felt very surreal. I wasn’t really sure how to react,” Ramnath told the Sun. “I mean, you hear about it … but you never expect it to be something that could affect you.”

Police stopped the first vehicle, but the second, a Toyota Camry, was able to get away. Authorities are asking anyone with information about this shooting to contact authorities immediately. This is the car police are looking for.

Police also wanted to assure fans that everyone inside the stadium was in no danger during Saturday’s shooting.

The Nationals Manager Davey Martinez said Sunday that his first thought was of the fans and making sure they were safe.

“For me, they’re family. They’re our fans,” he said. “They sweat just like the players do, just like I do. They’re here for us … It was a reactionary thing. There wasn’t really much — I just wanted to make sure that everybody was safe.”

A Police officer on the case assured fans that the incident was not an active shooter situation.

“I just want to assure the public that at no time during this incident were individuals inside the stadium attending the game in any kind of danger. This was not an active shooter incident and it’s not being investigated as such. Everything took place outside the stadium,” said Ashan Benedict, the Metropolitan Police Department’s executive assistant police chief, per CNN.

The Padres were leading 8-4 when the game was suspended. That game will resume on Sunday following the regularly scheduled game.