Zoo Police Overwhelmed Monday: Officer

National Zoo to review security

In addition to the stabbing of a teenager during an altercation at the National Zoo on Easter Monday, a number of other fights occurred, according to a zoo police officer.

Things were out of control and police were overwhelmed, the officer said. Mace had to be used to control the crowd in some instances.

The Metropolitan Police Department and D.C. Fire and EMS were called to the zoo at 4 p.m. Monday because of a stabbing. A 14-year-old was stabbed four times in the abdomen and was taken to Children’s National Medical Center. The teen is in stable condition.

Juveniles had to be removed from zoo property after an altercation near the small mammal house, zoo officials said. As many as two dozen people were involved, witnesses said.

"We were completely unprepared for something like this," the officer said.

Mshairi Alkebular, 16, was charged as an adult in D.C. Superior Court Tuesday afternoon with assault with intent to kill in connection with the stabbing. According to court documents, the stabbingg was gang-related.

Director Dennis Kelly plans a review of safety and security measures at the zoo, including crowd control, and institute whatever changes are necessary to make the zoo safe for visitors. He said the zoo closes the gates when the crowd reaches 25,000, as was the case Monday. Kelly is uncertain if that had ever been done before.

The traditional Easter Monday African-American Family Celebration will continue, Kelly said.

On Easter Monday in 2000, a 16-year-old shot seven people near the zoo entrance. That teen was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

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