The shooting death of a 13-year-old Black middle school student in Washington, DC, has caused outrage in the community as police start to give more information.
Karon Blake, a student at Brookland middle school in the city’s northeast, was shot early Saturday morning by a man who, according to police, opened fire after “heard noises” outside his residence and “observing someone who looked to be messing with vehicles.”
Police haven’t said who the gunman was, but they say he had a license to carry a gun and shot the teen after “interacting” with him. Law enforcement officials say Karon was not carrying a gun.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Robert Contee, the head of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), wouldn’t say who the shooter was, but he did say that he was “African American” and “not law enforcement.”
Karon Blake, 13, was shot & killed by a NE man who tells police he saw him breaking into cars early Sat.
Tonight Karon’s school shared photos of him, describing him as a quiet & inquisitive 6th grader who loved football & fashion. Police have not yet id’d or charged shooter. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/XwmZlqXwt9
— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) January 9, 2023
Police said that the man had hired an attorney and told responding officers what had happened at the scene of the shooting. When the police arrived, the man was giving CPR to Blake said Contee.
Before a community meeting on Tuesday night, where people kept asking for the man’s name, Contee asked for calm and said, “There was a lot of misinformation going around about this incident.”
Our community is hurting.
— Lorenzo Hall (@LorenzoHall) January 11, 2023
“Too many people have made assumptions about this case, and it is unfair to the grieving family,” he said. “Spreading inaccurate information is dangerous, reckless, and has the potential to adversely impact the investigation and the relationships in our community.”
Politicians in the area have asked for a quick investigation. The US attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said that it was “thoroughly investigating this matter.”
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A DC councilman named Zachary Parker said in a statement, “No car or other thing is worth a life, no matter what. I agree with the people who live in ward five who want the MPD and the US attorney’s office to find out who killed Karon.”
Christina Henderson, a DC councilwoman, said: “Property is not greater than life. Karon should be alive today.” Kerry Richardson, the principal of Brookland Middle School, sent a note to teachers on Monday. The note was then shared with the media. It described Karon as a “quiet and inquisitive scholar who loved fashion and football”.
Karon Blake was 13.
A sixth grader.
He was shot and killed Sat by a man who claims that he saw him breaking into cars.
The answer to anyone breaking into parked cars is NOT to murder a child.
We need to wake TF up and do something about gun violence in this country. pic.twitter.com/Kzfi5XK2lq
— Dylan Ogline (@DylanOgline) January 10, 2023
The note added: “Although he loved his neighborhood, he loved Brookland MS (the faculty and his peers) and the structure it presented to him even more. He leaves behind his mom and three younger siblings.”
The school was going to help both students and staff with their mental health. At a press conference on Monday, Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, talked about the shooting. “If you feel there is a public safety issue in and around your home, call 911,” she said. “That is the appropriate thing to do.”
“We would rather be talking about a 13-year-old going to school today instead of talking about him being killed on one of our streets, and I’m incredibly sad about that.”
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