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‘Dedicated His Career to Mentoring and Supporting Youth’: Washington Man Charged Three Weeks Later After Killing 13-Year-Old Black Boy Suspected of Breaking Into Cars

A Washington, D.C., man surrendered to local authorities on Tuesday morning after he was charged with second-degree murder for killing a 13-year-old Black boy. Jason Lewis, an older African-American male, has been identified as Karon Blake’s shooter and worked for D.C. Parks and Recreation for 17 years.

The decision came three weeks after the Jan.7 shooting because of continuous pressure from local residents, lawmakers and activists in the D.C. area.

Lewis spotted Blake along with two other youth a little before 4 a.m. in the 1000 block Quincy Street NE, across the street from Brookland Middle School that Blake attended.

According to an arrest warrant filed, Lewis and a person inside of Lewis’s apartment watching from a window told police that Blake charged at Lewis and got within five feet before shots were fired. Police did note that there was no footage of Blake and the other two youths coming onto the property itself.

Police stated that video from a surveillance camera captured Blake running in front of the condo as Lewis fired shots. The youth was repeatedly heard yelling, “I am sorry”, followed by “Please……Don’t……I am a kid, I’m only 12.” The other two youth managed to get away in a stolen vehicle.

The weapon used to kill Blake was legally registered and Lewis did have his conceal-carry permit. After shooting Blake, he called 911 and was administering CPR when police arrived on the scene according to local authorities.

Bernice King, daughter of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and at-large D.C. council member Robert White were the biggest voices of the many that spoke out for bringing charges among Lewis.

Sean Long, grandfather of Karon, recently spoke out at a community event held at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center near Blake’s middle school he attended.

“I didn’t know you could get a gun permit and shoot somebody for messing with a car,” Long said at the community meeting shortly after the shooting. “I’m Black. If I had killed a White boy on that street, they would’ve put me under the jail.”

Lee Smith, attorney for Lewis, persists that his client is innocent and stated that this incident is a tragedy in a statement to the media.

“My client had 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,” said Smith.

Lewis Linkedin profile states under his job description that he is a coordinator for the Area 7 Teen Program and he is responsible for creating programs for teens at his particular site as well as sites throughout the area.

D.C. officials previously stated that Lewis was put on leave from his job with the recreation department, and a statement still hasn’t been made on his current employment status with the city.

Police previously declined to release the shooter’s name and still haven’t released the details on what the shooter told police about the interaction with Blake before the shots were fired. They didn’t detail how many shots were fired or how many times Blake was hit before he died.

Lewis appeared in D.C Superior Court in shackles and handcuffs on Tuesday afternoon some hours after his attorney told reporters, “The public will see, no crime was committed here.” The father of four remained in custody after the initial hearing.

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