Police were tipped off about gang activity near National Zoo on day of shooting

WASHINGTON — Monday’s shooting near the National Zoo came as a surprise to most people, but it turns out that police may have known that trouble was coming.

At a meeting with Woodley Park residents Wednesday night, Capt. Lance Ware of Metro Transit Police said his agency “did get some intel about gang members that wanted to meet up at the zoo and wanted to fight.”

The Easter Monday shooting occurred just after 5:15 p.m. near the 3000 block of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest. One man was shot in the left hand and the other was shot in the left arm. The injuries were not life-threatening.

It is not clear if the gang activity played a role in the shooting. There have not been any arrests related to the shooting, police say.

Some of the intelligence about Monday’s gang activity came from social media, according to National Zoo Police Chief Terrell Wilson.

At the meeting, Ware said that a large group of young people was kicked out of the zoo a week before Easter Monday, and were later involved in a fight on the Duke Ellington Bridge during which shots were fired.

No one was wounded in that shooting.

Residents demanded to know whether the zoo, and their neighborhood, could be considered safe.

The police said that it wasn’t a random shooting, but ABC7 reports that D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh demanded to know, “You knew you had an unruly group … why weren’t the police surrounding them and following them?”

Dennis Kelly, the director of the National Zoo, said that the facility is “going to go back to the drawing board” regarding safety.

See a report from NBC Washington:

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article misidentified Capt. Lance Ware. He is not with MPD.

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