Police search for answers in shocking baseball shooting

MLB game between Nationals and Padres was abandoned after chaotic scenes.

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Nationals shooting
Shots fired: fans run for cover at Nationals Park
(AP)

Those hoping for fireworks at Saturday’s baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, got more than they bargained for after gunshots sent both fans and players scrambling for cover.

More details emerged on Sunday about how the mayhem unfolded at the game between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres, and about those impacted.

In total, three people were injured in the shooting incident, which took place just outside the ballpark.

A fan outside of the stadium was one of three people wounded, according to Ashan Benedict, executive assistant chief of police for DC’s Metropolitan Police Department. The fan who was shot, a woman, is expected to recover, Benedict said.

The two other people wounded in the shooting were associated with a recovered vehicle and are now in the hospital being questioned by police, according to Benedict. It’s unclear what their exact involvement was in the incident. Benedict also said those individuals were known to law enforcement.

A day after the incident, officials and players of both MLB clubs recalled the harrowing moments after shots were fired, according to a report from ESPN.

The Washington Nationals had fans shelter-in-place inside the stadium during the immediate aftermath of the gunfire, according to Scott Fear, vice president for public safety and security for the club. A message on the scoreboard shortly after the shooting told fans to remain inside the baseball park, but it was later updated to say it was safe for fans to leave the stadium.

“We held shelter in place for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. At that time we said fans were allowed, not that they had to, but they were allowed to exit through Center Field Gates and Right Field Gates on the other side of the stadium, because MPD had let me know that it was safe enough that they could go outside, out of the gate that way,” said Fear.

Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said that when he heard the gunshots, he believed they were coming from above the third base dugout.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but I wanted to make sure that everybody was safe,” he said at a news conference. “As things went on, fairly quickly I heard that it was outside the stadium. But like I said, everything happened so quickly, fans started getting a little bit frantic, which we don’t blame.”

“When a situation like that arises you try to follow protocol,” he said. “But honestly, protocol is to get to safety and take care of your families and hope that everybody stays safe.”

Martinez thanked first responders and ballpark security, reiterating that everyone was safe within the stadium.

On Sunday, the Metropolitan Police Department released images of the at-large vehicle, which they identified as a gray Toyota Corolla with a missing hubcap on the rear driver’s side. Police said the car, seen in photos captured by surveillance cameras in the area, has dark-tinted windows and investigators believed it had a temporary Virginia tag.

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Derek Bagley
Derek Bagley
2 months ago

Not sure if I will be back at Nationals Park for the next game!!

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