D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says that the man who shot and killed 13-year-old Karon Blake in Northeast D.C. is a government worker for the city and has been put on administrative leave.
Bowser said that the man had nothing to do with the police. She refused to say anything else about him. A source who knows about the investigation told News4 that a grand jury met on Tuesday to decide whether or not he will be charged.
On Tuesday, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III pleaded with people to stop spreading false information about the shooting that killed someone.
Police say the man shot and killed Blake on Quincy Street NE in the Brookland neighbourhood around 4 a.m. Saturday after hearing noises and seeing someone who seemed to be “tampering with a vehicle.”
Police say that the resident went outside with a legally registered gun and, after talking to the teen, started shooting. Four or five gunshots were heard by nearby people, who said.
Police said that after shooting Blake, the man did CPR on him. Blake died at a hospital not long after that. In Blake’s death, the man has not been arrested or charged. Contee said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon that the case was also being looked into by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and that all of the facts would eventually be presented to a grand jury.
#UPDATE: DC Mayor Bowser says man who shot 13-year-old #KaronBlake is a DC Government Employee and is currently on administrative leave. @WUSA9 pic.twitter.com/C7qWIOyZ5d
— Lorenzo Hall (@LorenzoHall) January 11, 2023
Contee was fired up as he spoke to reporters, and said he held the news conference to “correct the misinformation that is swirling throughout the community.”
“Too many people have made assumptions about this case and it’s dangerous,” he said. He said that people are making accusations based on race, and photos of innocent people who have been blamed for the killing are being shared on social media. Contee said that those accusations were not true and that the man involved is African American.
“I think it’s getting really reckless and dangerous with some of the behaviour that I’m seeing. We normally do not identify people … in this similar situation unless we have a warrant in hand for that person, or unless there’s a person who we are trying to identify and we don’t know who that person is. That is not what we’re dealing with here,” Contee said.
Contee said that the person who shot Blake had been honest with the police and hired a lawyer. Officers found a stolen car near the crime scene, and police say they think Blake used it.
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On Wednesday, two people who knew about the investigation told News4 that the car was a stolen KIA with a running engine. Blake went to middle school at Brookland.
“He was a quiet and inquisitive scholar who loved fashion and football. Although he loved his neighbourhood, he loved Brookland MS (the faculty & his peers) and the structure it presented to him even more. He leaves behind his mom and three younger siblings,” Brookland Middle School Principal Kerry Richardson said.
Parents and locals who spoke to News4 found it hard to understand what had happened. “I understand that people have a right to protect their property, but to go out and shoot somebody who’s not doing anything to you, is, I don’t think that’s acceptable,” parent Chia Ukeekwe said.
“Vigilante behaviour is not the way to go about it,” said Frankie Seabron of a new group called DC Safety Squad, which is working to support Karon’s family. “We really should value people more than we value property.”
Protestors gather at 12th and Quincy St. NE chant “Justice for Karon” following Councilmember @CMZParker5 Parker’s town hall. @DCHomos #KaronBlake pic.twitter.com/JL1q1yGOfs
— Mitch (@mitchw7959) January 11, 2023
“If you feel there is a public safety issue in or around your home, call 911. That is the appropriate thing to do, to call 911,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday when asked about the shooting.
Richardson said that the school would help students and staff with their mental health on Monday. They’ll also have a staff meeting to remember Blake.
Christina Henderson, a member of the D.C. Council, said on Twitter that she would check in with D.C. Public Schools and the Department of Behavioral Health to make sure Brookland Middle School has the help it needs. “Property is not greater than life. Karon should be alive today,” Henderson tweeted.
The problem isn’t Karon Blake wasn’t home. The problem isn’t his parents, community.
The problem is “homeowners” with guns who assume it’s their responsibility and privilege to end the life of another human being. The problem is “homeowners” see Black people as worthy of death
— Two Time Emmy Winner Ali B (@wtflanksteak) January 10, 2023
Ward 5 Council member Zachary Parker released a statement saying, in part, “No car or material possession is worth a life – under any circumstance. I join Ward 5 residents in calling on the MPD and the U.S. Attorney’s office to hold accountable the individual who took Karon’s life.”
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