DC man faces second-degree murder charge in fatal shooting of 13-year-old, police say
A man was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder while armed in connection with the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old in Washington, DC, police announced Tuesday.
Jason Lewis, a longtime Parks and Recreation Department employee police say fatally shot Karon Blake, turned himself in Tuesday morning, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III said at a press conference.
"Here we have a kid who's dead who shouldn't be," Contee said. "Now again we have to go through the course of the judicial process."
The arrest of Lewis comes nearly three weeks after the fatal shooting sparked backlash from Blake's family, local officials and community members who demanded the shooter be identified and arrested. Video evidence was crucial to investigators, who had to "overcome" Lewis' self defense claim, Contee said.
Lewis. 41, was ordered held without bond until a Feb. 13 court appearance. His attorney Lee Smith told the Washington Post the shooting was a tragedy, but said "the public will see, no crime was committed here." USA TODAY has reached out to Smith for comment.
What happened during the shooting?
Jan. 7, a man "heard noises and observed someone that appeared to be tampering with vehicles" and went outside with a registered gun to investigate, according to a statement from police. Contee confirmed Tuesday that a group of young men were using flashlights and "going into" cars near Lewis' residence.
Lewis left his home and fired a shot at a "getaway vehicle" that was parked nearby, Contee said.
"That's where things really unravel," he said. "That kind of put the chain of events into place."
Video footage appears to show Blake and another unidentified person running toward the vehicle when it reversed into an alley and crashed, Contee said. Blake then ran toward Lewis, although it's unclear if he saw him in the darkness, and Lewis shot Blake, Contee said.
As Lewis fired in his direction, Blake can be heard yelling "I am a kid" and "I am only 12," on footage of the shooting, according to the arrest warrant. He also shouted "I am sorry" and "please don't" numerous times, according to the warrant.
After the shooting, Blake was hospitalized and later pronounced dead, according to police. Police found no other firearms or weapons at the scene, according to the arrest warrant.
Who was Karon Blake?
Blake was a “quiet and inquisitive scholar who loved fashion and football," Brookland Middle School principal Kerry Richardson said in a letter to the school’s staff, according to NBC Washington. She said Blake is survived by his mother and three younger siblings, the outlet reported.
Blake was remembered by friends as smart, funny and the “man of the house,” at his funeral last week, the Washington Post reported.
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Contributing: The Associated Press
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Karon Blake: DC city employee charged with murder after fatal shooting