Outrage is building after the shooting death of a 13-year-old black middle school student. In a Washington, D.C. Neighborhood he suspected of vandalizing a car.
Caron Blake of Northeast Washington was killed Saturday, Metropolitan Police said.
Police found Caron with an apparent gunshot wound while responding to a report of a shooting. Just before 4 a.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of Quincy Street NE. Karan was taken to a hospital and died after life-saving efforts, officials said.
Detectives determined that a man at a nearby residence said he “heard noises and saw someone who appeared to be tampering with vehicles.”
The man went outside with a registered firearm to investigate and “interacted” with Caron.
“During the conversation, the male resident discharged his firearm, striking the victim,” police said.
The shooter has not been identified or arrested. Police Chief Robert J. Conte III said Tuesday that he is black, and that he has retained legal counsel.
Detectives are gathering information and will present the case to the U.S. attorney’s office for possible charges, he said.
“A grand jury will determine that a crime occurred based on facts — and not mere speculation,” Conti said.
Neighbors reported hearing four to five gunshots, the station reported.
Conte strongly criticized what he called misinformation. And speculation about the case, which he called tragic. He said that some people who have nothing to do with the case have been shown on social media.
“People are making assumptions and searching for people who are not involved. People are complaining about race — and that’s wrong,” Conti said.
The man who shot Caron called police after the incident, Conti said. When officers arrived, he was performing CPR and gave officers an account of what happened, Conti said.
Karan was a ‘quiet and inquisitive scholar’
Caron was a student at Brookland Middle School.
The school’s principal, Kerry Richardson. Said in a note to school staff obtained by NBC Washington that he was a “quiet and inquisitive scholar who loved fashion and football.”
“While he loved his neighborhood. He loved Brookland MS (the faculty and his peers) and the structure it presented to him even more,” Richardson wrote.
In a letter to families in the school community, Richardson wrote: “It is with great sadness that I share that a Brookland student. Sragically lost their life to gun violence in the early morning
hours of January 7th. Let us join in sending them love and support. As the family mourns this devastating loss. As a member of the Brookland family, we know that everyone who knew our student will miss him.”
The school is offering mental health resources and counseling to support students and staff.
‘Property is not bigger than life’
“Property is not larger than life. Because today should live,” D.C. Council member Christina Henderson tweeted Monday.
Ward 5 council member Zachary Parker said in a statement Monday: “He was a son, brother, friend and student who should still be here
“No car or material possessions are worth life — under any circumstances. I join the residents of Ward 5 in calling on the Metropolitan after Police Department and the US Attorney’s Office to. Hold accountable the person who took Karan’s life. He continued.
Residents at a community meeting Tuesday questioned. Why the shooter hadn’t been arrested — or at least publicly identified. Some say it’s insulting that the shooter’s name has not been released.
A woman who identified herself as Karan’s aunt called for justice. “We want justice – he was 13, he was a child,” he told the meeting.
Police have seized the weapon and are working with the U.S. attorney’s office, Assistant Police Chief Morgan Kane said.
If police go before a judge before they’re ready, they could jeopardize the case. And investigators know they need more evidence, like video, he said.
“The last thing we want to do is sacrifice a result that you’re all looking for,” Ken said.
Community groups DC Safety Squad, Ward 5 Mutual Aid and Harriet’s Wildest Dreams. Have also demanded the release of the shooter’s name and any visual evidence.
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