'Free Zoo Days' on hold after shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police released details about an arrest made for a concealed weapon after a shooting at the Kansas City Zoo during "Free Zoo Day."

In a police report, two witnesses said they saw two teens running away from the zoo. Police arrested a 16-year-old who dropped a gun while trying to flee.

More than 19,000 people showed up for the free admission day. However, the city put the free day events on hold.

Casey Crow shot video of a fight among teens and captured the gunshots go off.

"One of the males from the other group went toward the other and started swinging at each other and nobody missed, they started throwing their shirts off trying to intimidate each other," Crow said.

Crow said he heard at least two shots go off but didn't see who had the gun.

On Tuesday, police said there were 500 to 600 people outside the zoo during the time of the shooting, however no one was injured.

Four "Free Zoo Days" were promised to Clay and Jackson County voters for a sales tax increase in 2011.

It's a day the Director of the zoo, Randy Wistoff, said is special for those who can't always afford going to the zoo.

"A lot of us lose track of that situation and times are still a little tough out there and even though we think the zoo is very affordable, for some people it isn't," Wistoff said.

This was the second incident where police were called in at a free day in the past year. Officials thought they fixed the problem.

"We had worked with the police department after last year’s problems and beefed up the number of off-duty officers we had here yesterday so they'll be joining us at the table to try to work through what we can do," Wistoff said.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Sly James addressed the issue of teen violence in busy city areas like the Plaza and free zoo days. He said the city will continue to work with the police department and attack the issue every way they can. However, the Mayor doesn't think all of the teen violence is related and that it is not limited just to Kansas City.

"It's impossible sometimes to predict where idiots will show up with guns, but idiots showed up with guns and created a lot of problems at this place. Yes it's frustrating but it's something we're going to attack and deal with and we're going to try to find solutions to these types of problems," Mayor James said.

City and zoo officials planned to meet later in the week to discuss changes to "Free Zoo Day." Some ideas include requiring adult supervision, photo IDs and limiting the number of tickets.

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