Washington, D.C., employee accused of killing 13-year-old Karon Blake surrenders to police

A Washington, D.C., employee, surrendered to police Tuesday morning in connection to the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy.

The employee, Jason Lewis, faces a second-degree murder charge, multiple sources told NBC Washington. Metropolitan Police declined to comment Tuesday and said more information on the case will be released at an 11 a.m. news conference.

Police said a man shot and killed Karon Blake, a middle school student, at about 4 a.m. on Jan. 7 after the man believed that someone was tampering with vehicles. The man left his home with a registered firearm, got into “an interaction” with Karon, and fired his weapon, killing the teenager, police said.

An attorney for Lewis said his client maintains his innocence.

“While this is certainly a tragedy, once all the facts are heard, I believe that a jury will find that there was no crime here,” attorney Lee Smith said. “Mr. Lewis has dedicated his career to mentoring and supporting youth in the District of Columbia, which only adds to how distraught he is over the death of Karon Blake. Mr. Lewis and his family offer heartfelt condolences to Karon’s family and other loved ones.”

The man called 911 and was performing CPR when officers arrived, Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said. Two other juveniles were seen running from the scene, according to NBC Washington. At least two cars were damaged on the block where the shooting occurred, and police found a stolen car they believed Karon had used near the scene, the news station reported.

The chief called the shooting a “horrible situation.”

“We have a 13-year-old that died, and we don’t have all of the facts,” Contee said days after the shooting. “And the people who are responsible for gathering the facts and making charging decisions are doing it just as fast as possible.”

The shooting outraged the community as residents pressed the police for answers. Many said that alleged tampering with material property should not result in a person being killed.

“Property is not greater than life. Karon should be alive today,” councilmember Christina Henderson tweeted. Ward 5 councilmember Zachary Parker said in a statement that he was “outraged by Karon’s killing.”

“No car or material possession is worth a life — under any circumstances,” he said. 

Karon, of Northeast Washington, was a student at Brookland Middle School. The school’s principal, Kerry Richardson, said in a note to the school’s staff, obtained by NBC Washington, that he was a “quiet and inquisitive scholar who loved fashion and football.”

“Although he loved his neighborhood, he loved Brookland MS (the faculty & his peers) and the structure it presented to him even more,” Richardson wrote.

The teen’s grandfather said he’s grieving that Karon never got a chance to grow up.

“He’s too young — 13 years old,” Sean Long previously told NBC News. “That’s what’s killing me, he’s a baby.”

Marlene Lenthang, Phil Helsel and Daniella Silva contributed.

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