Instead of a seventh-inning stretch, Saturday night's MLB game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres had a sixth-inning scare.

The game erupted into chaos after gunshots rang out near Nationals Park in Washington, causing players and fans to flee for safety.

Courtesy: Corey Hook

Videos of the incident quickly spread on social media with the Nationals' Twitter account confirming gunshots outside the stadium. Players and fans could be seen running for cover.

One bystander attending the game was injured while waiting for an Uber, FOX 5 reported. She was taken to the hospital when non life-threatening injuries.

No arrests had been made in connection to the shooting as of Sunday evening. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in joint statement with the Washington Nationals that the incident occurred after a dispute "between individuals in two vehicles."

"Something crazy going on at Nationals Park," Boston Globe sportswriter Ben Volin tweeted Saturday night. "Players just sprinted off the field and fans running from the stands."

At a news conference late Saturday, D.C. Metropolitan Police confirmed that three people were struck by gunfire outside the stadium, after initial reports said four people had been struck.

Police believe the incident was a confrontation between occupants of two vehicles that were traveling near the stadium, FOX 5 of Washington reported.

One of the vehicles linked to the shooting was later located by investigators, police said, according to the station.

None of those wounded suffered life-threatening injuries, a police source told Fox News. The identities of those wounded remained unclear.

Police stressed that no gunfire occurred inside the stadium, according to FOX 5.


During the confusion inside the stadium, Padres stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado opened a gate to the field area so that some frightened fans could seek refuge in the team's dugout, Andrew Golden of the Washington Post wrote on Twitter.

Tatis was among the players posting later on Twitter about his concern for the fans.

"Hope everyone is safe!" Tatis wrote. "Just keep the prayers up … thank you everyone that help in the front line ! God bless."

The stadium was not evacuated. Instead, fans were asked to shelter in place as police investigated, FOX 5 reported. Investigators were reviewing all available security-camera footage and other evidence to glean more details about what happened, the station reported.

Spike in shootings

The area near the stadium has seen a spike in gun violence recently, the police source said. Recent incidents have included an Uber driver being carjacked and killed by teenage suspects.

Courtesy: Corey Hook

The gunfire came just one night after a 6-year-old girl was killed by gunfire in the nation's capital, with five adults wounded in the same incident.

The public-address announcer at the stadium told fans to stay inside the park.

The game was in the sixth inning at the time of the incident.

Spectators leave Nationals Park after an incident near the ballpark during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres, Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Just after 10 p.m., the Nationals posted a statement, saying the game had been suspended and would resume at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, followed by the game that was already scheduled for Sunday. The Padres were leading 8-4 when Saturday's game was interrupted.

Psaki first pitch

Police assured fans that the area will be safe for Sunday's game, FOX 5 reported.

On Friday, reports emerged that White House press secretary Jen Psaki had been invited to toss out a ceremonial first pitch prior to Sunday's game at Nationals Park. There was no indication late Saturday that the plans would be changed.

Psaki was invited because she is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, which is being honored at the ballpark Sunday, WRC-TV of Washington reported.

Jurickson Profar of the San Diego Padres is seen comforting a child after Saturday's Nationals-Padres game was suspended following gunfire outside the stadium. (Getty Images)

The Padres also tweeted, saying the club's thoughts were "with everyone affected by the incident outside of Nationals Park."

Earlier, the Nationals posted on Twitter that gunshots had been reported. 


Firetrucks and ambulances were spotted on the scene.

Fans are seen at Nationals Park after Saturday's game was delayed after the sound of gunfire. (Associated Press)


Washington, D.C. Metro Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

San Diego Padres player Wil Myers talks on a cell phone during a stoppage in play due to gunfire near the ballpark during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Padres, Saturday, July 17, 2021, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Nationals Park is located less than 2 miles south of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington's Southwest Waterfront area. It opened in March 2008, three years after the Nationals arrived in the city after moving there from Montreal, where they were known as the Expos for more than 30 years.

Both Nationals Park and nearby Audi Field, which opened in 2018 as the home of soccer's D.C. United, were built in the area as part of efforts to revive that part of the city.