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D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation employee Jason Lewis has been indicted on second-degree murder charges after shooting 13-year-old Karon Blake in Brookland earlier this month, according to authorities. Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck confirms that Lewis turned himself into police Tuesday morning. Lewis is scheduled to make his initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court later today.
The indictment comes about three weeks after Karon was killed just before 4 a.m. on Jan. 7, on the 1000 block of Quincy Street NE. MPD officials had refused to identify Lewis despite demands from community members and councilmembers. Chief Robert Contee said doing so could jeopardize the integrity of their investigation.
Lewis told police that night that he believed Karon was breaking into cars, according to the Metropolitan Police Department’s initial press release. “There was an interaction between a juvenile male and the male resident,” MPD’s press announcement said. “During the interaction, the male resident discharged his firearm striking the victim.”
Police have said Lewis called 911 after he shot Karon and was administering CPR when first responders arrived. Detectives did not arrest Lewis that night, and authorities only released limited details, including that Lewis’ firearm was legally registered. MPD leaders are expected to discuss the developments at a press conference later today.
A statement from Lewis’ attorney, Lee Smith, says his client 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 says. “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 their loved ones.”
Lewis has worked for DPR since 2006, according to his LinkedIn account.
This story is developing and will be updated.