Fernando Tatis Jr. and his teammates acted quickly Saturday night to try to protect fans following a shooting that took place outside Nationals Park. On Sunday, he explained what went through his mind as he acted the way he did.
Reports emerged after the incident that in the moments following the shooting, Tatis and Manny Machado were among those directing fans into the dugout to seek safety after shots were heard nearby. Tatis said Sunday that he was protecting family, particularly young children he saw in the vicinity.
Of his run last night to grab children and bring them to safety, Fernando Tatis Jr. said he was protecting family. His actual family is not here. He considers his teammates’ family his.
“There were little kids. I felt like somebody needed to go get them.”
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) July 18, 2021
Fernando Tatis Jr. rushed up the third base line to let family and fans onto the field and into the safety of the dugout last night.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) July 18, 2021
“The situation changed immediately,” he said. “There’s no longer players, fans. Everybody’s just people, just human beings out there.”
Tatis wouldn’t have known what kind of danger he or anyone else was in at the time. His quick thinking, and that of his teammates, should be commended.
Three people were wounded in the shooting that took place outside near one of the stadium’s gates. Police said none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening. The game was suspended after the shooting took place and is set to be completed Sunday.