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Hudsonville man recalls harrowing moment after shooting outside MLB game

Padres Nationals Baseball
Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 18, 2021

WASHINGTON D.C. — A chaotic scene playing out in the nation’s capital Saturday night, after three people were shot outside a MLB stadium during the middle of a game.

The San Diego Padres were taking the field, up 8-4 in the bottom of the 6th inning against the Washington Nationals Saturday night, when several loud pops were heard from the left field side of Nationals Park.

“I thought an entire section across the field was like stomping their feet and I figured, well, that's normal, right?” said Jacob Hooper.

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Hudsonville native Jacob Hooper attended Saturday's game with a friend.

Hooper, a rising senior at Hillsdale College and Hudsonville native working in D.C. this summer was at Saturday’s game with a friend, they heard the noise and at first thought it was rowdy fans or possibly the weather.

“The weather wasn't the best, we were expecting there might be a rain delay, so I figured there was lightning behind me or in right field and lightning can freak people out," Hooper said. "I figured, alright, these people just want to get inside and might get shelter. But then I look over to the other side of the field, and there's a very open concourse area and I see dozens of people full on sprinting, they're running low and I'm like, alright, something's up."

As quickly as the sound of those shots echoed through the ballpark, so did word that there was a shooter near or in the stadium.

Fans and players immediately ran for cover, some players even helped fans into the dugouts, while others hid under their seats.

“We’re crawling between the seats and I'm laying there and there's not a lot of cover on the floor and I'm like, man, these aren't going to protect me from bullets and so I’m laying there just like, 'What's going to happen? What's going to happen? Where is this guy'?” Hooper added.

Just outside the ballpark, a car rolled up and fired shots hitting two people and a woman near the stadium who was attending Saturday’s game.

After a few minutes, the stadium announced the shooting happened outside the park and asked that fans remain in their seats. The game was postponed and attendees we ushered out.

Police are still looking for the shooter and a vehicle involved. The game was resumed on Sunday.