Karon Blake

‘I'm Only a Kid,' Karon Blake Cried After Being Shot. DC Employee Charged With 13-Year-Old's Murder

Police have said the man shot and killed Karon Blake in the Brookland neighborhood on Saturday, Jan. 7

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The D.C. government employee who shot at 13-year-old Karon Blake as he yelled “I’m only a kid” earlier this month turned himself in Tuesday to face a second-degree murder charge, according to court documents and Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee.

Blake yelled “I’m sorry" and “I am only 12” numerous times as the suspect fired in his direction, according to court documents that described surveillance video. Contee said video was integral to the investigation.

Jason Lewis, 41, is charged with second-degree murder while armed. He appeared in court Tuesday afternoon, where he was ordered held without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 13.

Lewis shot Blake on Quincy Street NE in the Brookland neighborhood about 4 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, court documents say, after he heard noises and saw someone who appeared to be "tampering with a vehicle.”

Lewis stepped outside armed with a legally registered gun, then opened fire, according to police. Lewis shot at a "getaway vehicle" before firing at Blake, Contee said. Witnesses told police they heard four to five gunshots during the incident, according to the arrest warrant for Lewis. The arrest warrant said police found three shell casings.

Surveillance footage reviewed by D.C. police and mentioned in the arrest warrant for Lewis shows him firing his gun at that "getaway vehicle" once and at Blake twice.

During Lewis' initial court appearance Tuesday, the judge said Lewis appeared to be the aggressor.

Both families were in court and both declined comment afterward.

Karon Blake Shooting: Timeline of Events

Contee confirmed Tuesday that a group of "young men" were using flashlights and "going into" cars on the block early on Jan. 7. Three cars on the block had damaged or broken windows, according to court documents.

Surveillance footage reviewed by police and referred to in the arrest warrant showed two people, one of whom was Blake, getting out of a car parked near the scene and going up to those three cars with flashlights, the warrant said.

Officers found a stolen car near the scene, which they believe Blake had used, police previously said.

Contee said there was no direct confrontation or exchange of words between Lewis and Blake. According to police documents, Lewis told police he said, "Hey! What are y'all doing?"

The surveillance footage mentioned in the warrant contained audio of Lewis exiting his home and yelling "Hey," as well as footage of the two young men running with flashlights.

Contee said it appeared that the first gunshot was fired at a getaway vehicle. Surveillance footage referred to in the warrant also appeared to show Lewis shooting in the direction of that vehicle once, that document said.

It appeared that Blake might have been trying to make his way back to the vehicle, but the vehicle reversed into the alley, Contee said. The second person ran back to the vehicle before it began reversing, according to the arrest warrant.

"At some point," Contee said, Blake ran toward Lewis. It's not clear if Blake knew where Lewis was, Contee said.

"It's 4 o'clock in the morning; it's dark out there," Contee said. "And, as we learned through the investigation, again, what was initially described to us, there were some discrepancies there as we went through our investigation. The initial shot being fired at the getaway vehicle was not part of the initial discussion we had with Mr. Lewis."

According to the arrest warrant, Lewis fired twice more in Blake's direction, as seen on the surveillance footage police reviewed in the investigation.

After those two shots were fired, Blake can be heard in the surveillance footage audio yelling "I’m sorry," numerous times, followed by "Please don’t" and "No" numerous times. Blake also yelled "I am a kid" and "I am only 12" multiple times, according to the arrest warrant.

Police previously said the man, now identified as Lewis, performed CPR on Blake after shooting him. Blake died a short time later at a hospital.

"Any time we have a loss of life, especially that of a child, that is something that really just pierces my soul,” Contee said Tuesday.

Contee urged anyone who was with Blake that night to come forward, but declined to say whether any charges would be brought, saying it would be up to the Office of the Attorney General.

"My assessment is, these young men, they need intervention from somebody," Contee said.

The D.C. government employee who shot and killed 13-year-old Karon Blake turned himself in Tuesday to face a second-degree murder charge, multiple sources told News4.

Case Brought Before Grand Jury; Lewis' Lawyer Says Shooting Is a 'Tragedy' But Not a Crime

Contee said earlier this month that a grand jury was convened to investigate the case.

He said people were making allegations centered around race, and photos were circulating on social media of innocent people who were accused in the killing. Contee said those accusations were false and that the man involved is African American.

"I think it's getting really reckless and dangerous with some of the behavior 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 earlier this month.

Lewis was placed on administrative leave from his city job after the shooting, D.C. officials said.

In a statement Tuesday, Lewis' attorney said: "Mr. Lewis 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."

The statement continued: "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."

Blake’s family has hired Johnny Cochran’s law firm. News4 has reached out for comment.

Police say a homeowner fatally shot 13-year-old Karon Blake Saturday in Northeast after seeing someone tampering with a vehicle about 4 a.m. News4’s Aimee Cho has the latest on the investigation and how loved ones and people at Brookland Middle School are remembering the boy.

'Karon Should Be Alive Today,' DC Council Member Says

Blake was a student at Brookland Middle School.

“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. He leaves behind his mom and three younger siblings,” Brookland Middle School Principal Kerry Richardson said.

During a vigil earlier this month, Blake was remembered as the "nicest boy" in his class who made his siblings laugh.

The killing led safety advocates and D.C. Councilmembers to question why deadly force was used.

"Property is not greater than life. Karon should be alive today," D.C. Council member Christina Henderson tweeted.

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."

"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.

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