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Nationals game suspended as fans rush for exits after shooting outside stadium

Gunfire erupts outside Nationals' stadium
Gunfire erupts outside Washington Nationals' stadium 03:02

Saturday's Washington Nationals game was suspended after a shooting outside the stadium led to a panicked scene, with attendees ducking for cover and the teams retreating to their clubhouses. D.C. Police said at a press conference Saturday night that three people were shot.

Police described the incident as a "shootout" between two cars outside of Nationals Park. One of the cars has been recovered and police are interviewing two individuals from that car, both of whom are in the hospital. One of the victims was a female innocent bystander and is "expected to be OK," police said.

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 shooting occurred prior to the start of the bottom of the sixth inning "outside of the Third Base Gate" of Nationals Park, according to the Washington Nationals. 

"We heard what sounded like gunfire. Fans immediately took cover.  The players fled the field. It felt like our stadium was under attack," Dave Brown who was sitting on the side of the stadium nearest the shooting, told CBS News. 

Fans were initially told to stay inside the stadium. Roughly 15 minutes later, fans were told it was safe to exit the stadium using the gates in center and right field.

In a statement Sunday, the Nationals thanked fans for handling themselves "in a very admirable manner."

The game between the Nationals and the San Diego Padres was suspended and resumed Sunday afternoon. Sunday's scheduled game will begin "within 25-45 minutes" after the conclusion of the suspended game. Both matchups will be full nine-inning games, with the first game picking up where it left off in the bottom of the sixth.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki threw out the pitch in Sunday's scheduled game.

San Diego Padres v Washington Nationals
Fans run for cover after what was believed to be shots were heard during a baseball game between the San Diego Padres the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. / Getty Images
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