2 teens shot near National Zoo during holiday lights festival

Two teenage boys are in the hospital after gunfire erupted a block from the National Zoo in Northwest D.C. on Saturday evening — not long after a firework sparked a scare at the nearby ZooLights holiday festival.

D.C. police responded to shots fired at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Cathedral Avenue in Woodley Park, about a block south of the Smithsonian National Zoo’s main entrance, at around 9 p.m. Saturday.

First responders found one teen suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. A second boy was later found with a gunshot wound at Calvert and Biltmore streets, just east of the Duke Ellington Bridge leading to Adams Morgan, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told WTOP.

Both teens were transported for treatment with injuries considered non-life threatening. Police believe they were both shot during the same incident in Woodley Park.

The shooting came after a group of teens set off a pyrotechnic in a bathroom at the National Zoo around 7 p.m. leading to fear and confusion among the hundreds taking in the holiday ZooLights, as some initially mistook the loud noise for gunfire.

WTOP’s news partner NBC Washington reports D.C. and federal law enforcement were already in the area working to disperse a large and disruptive crowd near the zoo, when the shooting took place down the street. The zoo was forced to close early.

It remains unclear if the two incidents are related.

This is a developing story. Stay with WTOP.com for the latest.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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