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Nationals-Padres game suspended after shooting outside D.C. ballpark

By
Allen Cone

July 18 (UPI) -- Three people were injured, including a fan, in a shooting outside the third-base gate of Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., suspending the game between the Nationals and San Diego Padres late Saturday.

The victims went to local hospitals, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department posted on Twitter.

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Fan hearing gunfire fled their seats and sought shelter after hearing gunfire in the bottom of the sixth inning, CNN journalists at the game reported.

"I just want to assure the public that at no time during this incident were individuals inside the stadium attending the game in any kind of danger. This was not an active shooter incident and it's not being investigated as such. Everything took place outside the stadium," Ashan Benedict, executive assistant chief of police for DC's Metropolitan Police Department, said.

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The female fan who was shot is expected to recover, Benedict said. Two other people wounded in the shooting were associated with the recovered vehicle and were questioned by police in the hospital, according to Benedict.

A person in one car pulled beside another and they engaged in gunfire, police told WUSA-TV. The cars sped down South Capitol Street, with one vehicle stopped by police. The second vehicle has not been recovered.

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A message on the scoreboard shortly after the shooting initially told fans to remain inside the baseball park.

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"We held shelter in place for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. At that time we said fans were allowed, not that they had to, but they were allowed to exit through Center Field Gates and Right Field Gates on the other side of the stadium, because MPD had let me know that it was safe enough that they could go outside, out of the gate that way," Scott Fear, vice president for public safety and security for the Washington Nationals, told reporters.

The suspended game resumed at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, the Nationals posted on Twitter. The Padres were leading 8-4 and went on to win 10-4. Game 3 of the series followed.

Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez told reporters Sunday he thought the shots were were coming from above the the third base dugout.

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"I didn't know what was going on, but I wanted to make sure that everybody was safe," he said at a news conference. "As things went on, fairly quickly I heard that it was outside the stadium. But like I said, everything happened so quickly, fans started getting a little bit frantic, which we don't blame.

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"When a situation like that arises you try to follow protocol," he said. "But honestly, protocol is to get to safety and take care of your families and hope that everybody stays safe."

Hours earlier Saturday, a shooting claimed the life of a 6-year-old girl and injured five other people in D.C.

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