Authorities charged a government employee in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday with second-degree murder after he allegedly shot and killed 13-year-old Karon Blake earlier this month following a still-vague confrontation.
Jason Lewis, who works for the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, is accused of shooting Blake on Jan. 7. He allegedly told police afterward that Blake was breaking into cars in the neighborhood ― an allegation police have not confirmed. Blake was unarmed, according to law enforcement.
Lewis turned himself in on Tuesday and will appear later in the day in D.C. Superior Court.
The Metropolitan Police Department initially disclosed only bare details about what happened in the shooting and the moments that led up to Blake being killed. They said a man told police he approached Blake with a firearm after he saw the young teen tampering with vehicles near his home.
There was an “interaction” between the two and then shots were fired, police said. Blake was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead.
Three bullet casings were recovered from the scene. Blake appeared to be in fear and warned Lewis at the time of the shooting, trying to tell him he was a child before he was killed. Lewis said when he fired his weapon, he heard someone shouting, “I’m a kid, I’m a kid,” and then collapsed on the scene.
Officers tried to view surveillance footage of the shooting from a phone Lewis provided to them, but it did not capture the shooting. Lewis told police a person ran towards him after he asked what they were doing.
But surveillance footage did capture Lewis with a gun. However, it did not capture a person running towards him or the shooting at all. Lewis told police that he fired a shot to the person from his gate.
Local activist groups held several rallies following Blake’s killing, arguing that the shooter had no right to take the law into his own hands.
Local city officials also expressed concerns about the shooting.
Christina Henderson, a D.C. city council member-at-large, tweeted that “property is not greater than life.”
Other elected officials demanded immediate transparency as to what transpired during the fatal encounter.