KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City, Mo., police worked to break up a disturbance at the Kansas City Zoo Tuesday, the day the park was offering free admission to Jackson and Clay County residents.
According to a KCMO PD statement, officers working in the area heard shots fired. As they moved into the area, large crowds were trying to leave the zoo. Police said there were multiple arrests related to fights that occurred during the incident but were unable to find anyone who fired gunshots.
A witness, Stephanie Hutton, told 41 Action News said she heard three gunshots and saw a woman bleeding, but she did not know if the woman had been injured by bullets or by other means. Police have not yet confirmed any injuries.
"We hear shots and everybody was all over the place," Trilby Jillum said, who was at the zoo Tuesday.
For Heather Doan and her son, it was deja vu.
"Something like this happened [last year] but we were gone before it happened thankfully. I know this is the second time," Doan said. "It's a shame that people have to do that and ruin it for the families."
Since the disturbance last year, the zoo moved the free day to a weekday for safety, attempting to keep down the capacity.
“Our goal is to have our free days and figure out what we can do to make them safer and figure out how to keep the capacity down,” Zoo Director Randy Wistoff said.
KCMO Mayor Sly James and City Manager Troy Schulte said Wednesday they've asked zoo officials to hold off on their next free day while safety issues are addressed.
A group of teens we talked to said they want the zoo to change the free day procedure. They said they were able to enter without an adult.
The zoo was prepared for 15,000 people throughout the day, but 19,000 people showed up. This is the second disturbance at the zoo during a free day in the last year.