OAKLAND -- Officials have been given the all-clear after officers on the ground and in a helicopter searched the lower park of the Oakland Zoo after a reported armed robbery and possible shooting at a nearby gas station, police said.

No arrests had been made Wednesday evening, and police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said police have not found a gunshot victim. Watson said police also do not have firm information that a robbery took place in that area.

Witnesses saw a man in brown pants and a gray hooded sweatshirt, armed with a gun, run from the area and head toward the zoo grounds.

The zoo closed to the public at 4 p.m. as usual, and employees, who were locked inside their offices for a short time, have been told that neither a suspect nor a victim were located on zoo property, said zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora.

Mora said the zoo's security team worked with Oakland police and immediately locked the gates and refused new patrons. The area where police searched is right off the main gate and was closed to visitors at the time of the search, she said.

Zoo operations have since returned to normal, she said.

Watson said there was a shooting in the area of 98th Avenue and Golf Links Road at 3 p.m. but had few details.


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Jason Kin, the owner of the 76 gas station at 98th Avenue and Golf Links Road, said he heard five or six shots and saw someone running from the Bottleneck liquor store parking lot about 3 p.m.

Bishop O'Dowd High School, located off 98th Avenue, kept campus gates closed during the incident, according to an email sent to parents by Principal Pam Shay. She said students were not kept inside but all school gates were kept closed during the police search.

Students were dismissed to parents outside the front gate and no one was allowed to leave the school at the exit that leads to 98th Avenue. At no time were students or faculty in danger, Shay said.

Staff writer Harry Harris contributed to this report. Contact Kristin J. Bender at Twitter.com/kjbender.