The man who fatally shot 13-year-old Karon Blake in Washington, D.C., early last month was charged with murder after turning himself in, WTTG-TV reported.
Jason Lewis — a 41-year-old D.C. government employee who was placed on administrative leave after the Jan. 7 shooting — is facing a charge of second-degree murder while armed, the station said.
Lewis turned himself in to police at 8 a.m. Tuesday, WTTG said, and a judge ordered him held without bond during an arraignment that same day.
What's the background?
WTTG said in a video report that's part of its original story that the man who shot Blake confronted him and two other juveniles in the 1000 block of Quincy Street in the northeast section of the nation's capital after seeing cars being broken into just before 4 a.m.
The station said Blake was shot multiple times, and there was no indication he was armed. But investigators said arriving officers found the homeowner performing CPR on the teen, who was taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead.
WTTG, citing court documents, reported that Lewis told police he was in bed and heard a noise which prompted him to grab his gun — for which he has a concealed carry permit — and investigate. Lewis said he thought someone might be at his door, so he walked into his courtyard patio area and to his gate, the station said.
Lewis said he saw a vehicle in the street and yelled, "Hey," WTTG reported, citing court documents. Lewis told officers he was standing in the entryway to his courtyard when Blake ran toward him, the station said, adding that Lewis also told police that Blake was within his yard when he fired.
However, WTTG said court papers indicate security camera video does not show Blake breaching Lewis’ property. Images show Lewis extending his arm while standing in his yard, and fired shots are audible, the station added.
D.C. police Chief Robert Contee said during a press conference that there was no confrontation between Lewis and Blake leading up to the shooting.
"I think the biggest grievance is that the first shot that was fired was actually fired at someone who was sitting in a vehicle who was not an immediate threat to the person who fired the shot," Contee said, according to WTTG.
The station, citing court documents, also said Blake could be heard on surveillance video yelling, "I'm sorry!" multiple times along with, "Please don’t!" "No!" "I'm a kid!" and "I'm only 12!"
Early in the investigation, Contee blasted "allegations centered around race" as he confirmed that the man who pulled the trigger is black. WTTG-TV reported that a group posted a photo of a white man and a picture of Blake, implying that a white man was the one who shot Blake.
"The fact that there’s misinformation swirling out there, and people are tying it to race and other things and putting images of innocent people out there next to young Karon saying that 'this is the person that’s responsible for that' — that’s reckless, and that’s dangerous," Contee said with a raised voice. "Imagine if that was your picture beside his, and people showed up at your house with half information. That’s unacceptable."
What do attorneys for Lewis have to say?
Lewis' lawyers issued the following statement Tuesday, according to WTTG:
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.
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.
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