DC Employee Charged With Murder in Death of Boy, 13

Police say Jason Lewis shot Karon Blake after firing at vehicle outside his home
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2023 5:05 AM CST
Updated Jan 31, 2023 9:10 PM CST
Mayor: Man Who Shot Boy, 13, Is DC Employee
Flowers secured to a pole as a memorial to Karon Blake, 13, on the corner of Quincy Street NE and Michigan Avenue NE in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
UPDATE Jan 31, 2023 9:10 PM CST

A 41-year-old District of Columbia government employee surrendered to police Tuesday and was charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 7 shooting death of 13-year-old Karon Blake. According to an arrest affidavit, Jason Lewis told police that after hearing noises outside his home around 4am, he shouted at "youngsters" who appeared to be trying to break into cars, NBC reports. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said Lewis fired at a "getaway vehicle" before shooting the boy as he ran toward him. Contee said Karon was apparently trying to get to the vehicle and may have been unaware Lewis was standing there. According to the affidavit, the boy can be heard on recordings of the incident yelling "I am sorry" multiple times, as well as "Please don't” and "I am a kid." The chief urged two juveniles seen running from the scene to come forward.

Jan 12, 2023 5:05 AM CST

The man who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy in the early hours of Saturday is a DC government employee who has been placed on leave, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday amid rising outrage over the boy's death. Sixth-grader Karon Blake died from his wounds after he was shot multiple times by the man, who believed the boy had been tampering with vehicles outside his home, police say. "It's a horrible situation," Bowser said, per NBC. "We have a 13-year-old that died, and we don’t have all of the facts. And the people who are responsible for gathering the facts and making charging decisions are doing it just as fast as possible."

According to a police report, the resident "heard noises and observed someone that appeared to be tampering with vehicles" at around 4am. The man "went outside, armed with a registered firearm, to further investigate. There was an interaction between a juvenile male and the male resident," the report states. "During the interaction, the male resident discharged his firearm striking the victim." At a press conference Tuesday, DC Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III described the case as a "tragic death of a son of our city" but said some details can't be released while the investigation is underway, the New York Times reports. Contee said the resident, like Blake, is Black.

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The chief said there has been "too much misinformation swirling around this incident," including social media posts sharing the photos of people who were not involved. Activists have demanded that the shooter be arrested and his name released, the AP reports. Community groups have slammed the shooting as "vigilante" behavior. Hundreds of people attended a meeting this week at a community center near Blake's school, Brookland Middle School. "I didn't know you could just kill somebody over property damage. That's just crazy," Sean Long, the teen's grandfather, told the meeting. (More Washington, DC stories.)

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