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Shooting outside Nationals Park causes panic inside stadium; Nationals-Padres game suspended

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A chaotic and surreal scene unfolded at Nationals Park on Saturday night during a Padres-Nationals game, as gunfire outside the stadium caused a frenzy for fans and players at the ballpark. D.C. police said there was a “shootout” between two cars right outside Nationals Park and three people were shot. One shooting victim was a female bystander who is expected to be OK, police said.

People inside the stadium described hearing multiple gun shots, which caused panic in the crowd. Players from both bullpens could be seen hustling to the clubhouse. Players also went into the stands to gather family members, and some fans sought shelter in the dugouts.

Here’s more from CBS News:

CBS News congressional correspondent Kris Van Cleave was at the game and reported hearing “three bangs” in quick succession. One fan told him they sounded like fireworks, another said it sounded like automatic weapon fire. There was initial confusion and panic as some thought there was a shooter inside the park, rather than outside. Video from inside the stadium shows fans rushing for the exits, ducking between rows and some even running into the dugouts and clubhouses. One woman near Van Cleave broke down in tears.

The game was stopped for the night in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Padres leading, 8-4. Here’s a look at the scene:

Initially, per those on the scene, the public address announcer told fans to stay put. But eventually the Nationals instructed fans to exit the ballpark through the right- and center-field gates.

On Sunday, players and managers reflected on Saturday night’s scene. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said he “couldn’t be more proud” of how players assisted fans.

“For me, it was just about protecting our people, our own, and just trying to stay calm,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters, including Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports. “… I love this city. This city’s my home. It can get crazy. We all know that. And we all want to feel safe. I can tell you that inside this ballpark, I feel safer than ever.”

Saturday night’s game is set to resume Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET in Nationals Park with the scheduled game for Sunday to begin shortly after its conclusion. 




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