Saturday night, a shooting outside Nationals Park forced the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres to suspend their game in the sixth inning. The shots could be heard during the television and radio broadcasts, and the shooting caused a panic inside the ballpark. Three people were shot in the incident, which was unrelated to the ballgame, according to police.
Immediately following the shots, when it was still unclear whether the shooting took place inside or outside the ballpark, Padres players, including Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., led fans into the San Diego dugout for safety. Here are folks huddled inside the dugout while awaiting word on the situation:
Yes, we are safe now. Was it scary? Absolutely. Happened in section 112, I was in 114. We all hit the deck. Machado, Myers, and Tatis all came out and sent fans to the dugout. I have nothing but respect for them and the @padres. The cops locked the gate, they opened it.— Alaina (@alaina1424) July 18, 2021
"The situation changed immediately," Tatis told reporters on Sunday, according to MLB.com's AJ Cassavell. "There's no longer players, fans. Everybody's just people, just human beings out there."
"They thought maybe the dugout could've been the safest place, and they led and welcomed and guided people in there," Padres manager Jayce Tingler added, according to The Athletic's Dennis Lin. "Couldn't be any more proud to have those players a part of our team."
On the other side of the field, Nationals players ushered their families to safety through the dugout and into the clubhouse, and also guided some fans into the dugout as well.
"For me, it was just about protecting our people, our own, and just trying to stay calm," Nationals skipper 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."
The game was suspended with San Diego holding an 8-4 lead (box score). The game will be resumed at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, then will be followed by their regular scheduled series finale.