Sports

Nationals thank fans for ‘admirable’ handling of shooting outside stadium

The Washington Nationals have thanked and complimented the fans in attendance for their handling of the frightening and chaotic incident after a shooting was reported outside Nationals Park, resulting in the suspension of Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres.

“Dear fans, thank you. During the incident last night outside of the ballpark, you handled yourselves in a very admirable manner,” the team said Sunday morning in a statement. “You stayed calm. You helped one another. We have always known that we have the best fans in baseball.

“Last night, you showed it. [Nationals manager] Davey Martinez said it best, our fans are our family. Thank you.”

The shooting outside the third-base gate left at least four people injured, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. The gunfire could be heard inside the stadium during the sixth inning of the game, causing players such as Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. to retrieve their families and groups of fans from the stands into the dugouts. Other fans fled to the concourse or ducked behind their seats.

Nationals Park shooting
Fans rush to evacuate after hearing gunshots outside Nationals Park during the Nationals-Padres game on July 17, 2021.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

Martinez was quoted by a fan in the Washington Post as telling a security guard that the fans congregating in the Nationals dugout and clubhouse “are family, they are our fans.”

Fans initially were directed by the stadium public address announcer to “please remain calm and remain inside the stadium,” before they eventually were asked to exit through the outfield gates.

Nationals Park shooting Washington
Fans leaving Nationals Park after a shooting outside the stadium on July 17, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

The Padres led, 8-4, in the sixth inning when the game was suspended. It is slated to resume at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, with the regularly scheduled game to follow.

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