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Black Baseball Player Shot Dead by White Umpire

A black baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates was shot dead by an umpire at Nationals Stadium in Washington D.C. Monday.

The victim, 30 year-old Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had reportedly been involved in a verbal altercation with home plate umpire Dennis Berg, 48, when Berg shot him six times.

"The ump struck McCutchen out on a high strike three, and when he (McCutchen) turned around to complain, the dude (Berg) just started shooting him," recounted one witness who had seats on the first base line. "It was pretty crazy."

Berg, who has been placed on administrative leave, stated through his attorney that an enraged McCutchen was wielding a baseball bat at the time of his death.

"The subject was conducting himself in a disorderly fashion, and upon refusing an order to vacate the premises, Mr. McCutchen held a baseball bat up in a manner that caused me to fear for my life," the umpire's statement read.

Meanwhile, friends and family of McCutchen claim he was a kind and law-abiding person, and that there was a reasonable explanation for him to be in possession of the bat.

"He was a professional baseball player," his mother Janice argued. "He used it to hit balls with."

Still, some say Berg isn't to blame.

"Honestly, in my opinion, the fact is, if he had just gone back to the dugout, he wouldn't be dead right now," one Nationals fan commented.

McCutchen was batting .292 at the time of his death.

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