Two People Shot Outside National Zoo in D.C.
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UPDATED: April 22, 2014 2:25 p.m.
WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — The investigation into a double shooting outside the gates of the National Zoo on Monday afternoon is ongoing, but police are declining to offer additional details about the case.
Two men were shot near the zoo entrance in the 3000 block of Connecticut Avenue NW just after 5:15 p.m., according to D.C. Police.
One man was shot in the left arm and the other was shot in the hand, D.C. Police Commander Michael Reese said at a news conference Monday evening. Both victims were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Reese said police believe a group of 30 to 50 people was walking south down Connecticut Avenue when shots rang out. Witnesses tell WNEW’s Cameron Thompson that they heard two or three gunshots, followed by a rush of police officers running with their guns drawn.
Reese said police don’t know if the large group of people had been inside the zoo before the shooting.
Several businesses across the street from the zoo’s entrance were locked down immediately following the shooting, but reopened shortly after police cleared the scene.
Police say they are looking for suspects, but don’t have a description of who they are looking for.
The zoo was hosting its traditional Easter Monday family events. A spokeswoman says about 16,000 had visited the zoo as of 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The zoo’s Easter Monday celebration features family-focused activities and live entertainment, such as an Easter egg hunt and visits from the Easter Panda.
A zoo spokesperson said Tuesday that they are “very concerned” about the dangerous actions of “unruly individuals.”
“Our number one priority is safety. We’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our visitors,” said Annalisa Meyer, the zoo’s communications manager, in a statement. “Planning for large crowds during this spring break period started a while ago and included partnering with MPD and others to increase security. We will review and work to improve our procedures after we’ve carefully reviewed the incidents with MPD. We appreciate MPD for their instant response and helping us keep our visitors safe.”
There is a history of Easter Monday violence near the zoo.
On Easter Monday in 2011, a 16-year-old stabbed a 14-year-old at the zoo. On Easter Monday in 2000, a 16-year-old shot seven people near the zoo entrance.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 202-727-9099 or text 50-411.
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