Fernando Tatis Jr., More Discuss Reaction to Shooting Outside Nationals Park

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres warms up prior to the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Will Newton/Getty Images

The focus for San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. shifted dramatically after hearing gunshots during Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals.

The game was suspended in the sixth inning because of a shooting outside of Nationals Park.

"Our family, loved ones, little kids. Feel like somebody needed to go get them," Tatis told reporters of his mindset at the time. "I feel like the safest place was the clubhouse, and we were trying to get our families into a safe place."

The All-Star shortstop added there was no longer a distinction between people inside the stadium and that they were all "human beings trying to be secure."

Nationals manager Davey Martinez was similarly fixated on helping those around him.

"There was a bunch of fans, they were in our dugout, and I wanted to get them safe as well," he said. "We got them in through the tunnel and got them in safely and tried to keep them safe. For me it was just about protecting our people and doing the best I can to stay calm."

A group of Padres players opened a gate along the third-base line that allowed fans to exit the stands and head toward the Padres dugout:

Dan Clark @DanClarkSports

Here is the footage of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers helping fans when in fear (of the shooting at Nationals Park). <a href="https://t.co/9ApuHIs4Oy">pic.twitter.com/9ApuHIs4Oy</a>

"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 told reporters. "Couldn’t be any more proud to have those players a part of our team."

Police in Washington, D.C., said three people were injured in the shooting. Authorities are unsure about a motive for the shooting but don't believe it was connected to Saturday's game.

The game resumed Sunday afternoon, with the Padres winning 10-4.