WASHINGTON — A 15-year-old boy was arrested Sunday nearly a month after two individuals were shot near the ZooLights display at the National Zoo.
Police said on Nov. 30, a group of teens set off fireworks near the zoo, which some visitors mistook for gunshots. During this incident, police said a 15-year-old suspect approached two victims in the 2800 block of Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, pulled out a gun and shot the victims.
The suspect fled the scene and the victims were taken to a hospital for treatment of their non-life threatening injuries, police said.
D.C. police arrested a 15-year-old boy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and charged him with "assault of a dangerous weapon (gun)" police said.
Police confirmed that the original reports were just sounds of fireworks. However, new information following the evacuation of the zoo stated two shootings occurred nearby. Police didn't indicated whether the fireworks were set off within the zoo or outside.
Following this incident, zoo officials increased security measures and tightened up safety precautions.
National Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said that zoo officials held a discussion with D.C. police, the Smithsonian Office of Protection Services and Metro Transit Police following the shootings to determine what those safety precautions will look like and how they will be carried out.
Following that discussion, Pamela Baker-Masson said there would be an increase in security staff as well as temporary screening stations that included bag checks and wanding.
"When things like this happen, it’s appropriate for us to pivot quickly and modify our security plans to be more robust," Baker-Masson said.
Baker-Masson said safety is the number one priority at the zoo and that the zoo is working to put a more robust security plan in place that is based on visitor projections. On a day where more visitors are expected, there will be more security in place.
In addition to increased precautions in the zoo, the spokeswoman said D.C. police would have a heavier presence outside the zoo as well.