On Saturday nights, as people were watching a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres in the national capital, gunshots were heard outside the stadium. Washington DC police initially said that four people were shot outside the stadium but there was “no ongoing threat.” The game was halted, and the stadium was evacuated as a precautionary measure.
— Jaime A. Varela (@jvarela42) July 18, 2021
Police said that they initially responded to a shooting incident involving two people outside National Park. In a subsequent post on Twitter, they added that two more victims, walked into nearby hospitals as they had been shot and sought treatment. These two persons were involved in the same incident and were in one of the cars involved in the shootings outside the stadium. The police said that there didn’t seem to be any threat at this time.
Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck said that preliminary investigations revealed that one of the victims worked at the stadium, but this information was later corrected. The number of those who were shot was also changed to three. The shooting was an exchange of fire between people who were in two cars and the reasons for the shooting were not known, as of now.
Frightened Nationals fans took cover at the report of what *sounded like* shots at Nats ballpark. But staff are telling us the incident was outside the stadium, and they’re keeping everyone inside. People hid behind bar, toppled tables to hide. pic.twitter.com/bCAP2V3qyu
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) July 18, 2021
During the baseball game, reportedly more than twelve shots were heard. As spectators realized that the shots were being fired outside the stadium some of them ran towards the exits while others hid behind their seats as chaos reigned.
The game was stopped in the sixth inning after the gun shots were heard and the players were quickly escorted out of the field. Following this the crowd which had come to watch the game were also made to leave the stadium as sirens were heard from more than two dozen police cars, ambulances and fire engines were blaring in the street outside. There was also a police helicopter that hovered just outside the stadium.
In a statement, the Washington Nationals said that the game was suspended due to an incident surrounding the stadium and that the game should continue on Sunday afternoon. There will be an increase in police presence on Sunday. The Padres were ahead 8-4 when the game was stopped on Saturday.
Hope everyone is safe at Nationals park. I heard a few loud bangs and then a mass exodus. View from my roof pic.twitter.com/MA1B7z83u2
— Jalen Drummond (@jalen_drummond) July 18, 2021
Image Credit : Officials are seeking this gray Toyota Corolla in connection with the shooting of three people outside Nationals Park after dusk on July 17, 2021. (Courtesy MPD)