Padres players escort fans into dugout during shooting outside Washington DC ballpark

Players hailed as heroes after Saturday's shooting
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-18 21:14:33-04

WASHINGTON DC (KGTV)-- San Diego Padres players are being hailed as heroes after escorting many fans into their dugout during a shooting in Washington DC Saturday.

It was a game like any other until the bottom of the sixth.

"All of a sudden, we heard four pops," fan Alaina Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is a flight attendant from Pennsylvania. The baseball lover travels a lot for MLB games. But her trip to Washington DC Saturday was cut short after shots were fired right behind her section.

"Everybody is just down, and we heard somebody just say, 'Shooter! Shooter!' We're like, 'where?'" Rodriguez recalled.

Amid the chaos, Rodriguez looked up and saw some of the Padres players running into her section, looking for their families in the stands. Then she saw shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. motioning fans to head to the Padres dugout.

"That's when Wil Myers was with his family, and Tatis opened the gate. When he said, 'Go!' it was just like, 'All right if he is saying go and he can see up, things must be okay, and we need to go'," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said about 75 fans helped each other get over the knee-length wall and run for cover.

"We were all scared because we didn't know where the shooter was. We didn't know. Is he coming down the steps? Was he about to jump on the field? Where he, she, it was. No one knew," Rodriguez said.

No one knew at the time that three people were shot just outside the gate. One woman attending the game sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and two of the suspects later walked into a local hospital with gunshot wounds.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler was overcome with emotion at the press conference Sunday morning after seeing his team step up and be heroes on and off the field.

"Most people see them as baseball players, and when you get to see them as caring human beings doing the right thing, loving husband and sons and fathers, I just honored to be a part of it," Tingler said.

"I am a baseball fan in general. I was a Tatis, and I was a Machado fan. Now I am a Padres fan as well because I have to say that they saved my life and a lot of fans' lives last night," Rodriguez said.