WASHINGTON — Days after a 13-year-old boy was shot to death in D.C.'s Brookland neighborhood, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III held a press conference regarding what he calls misinformation surrounding the case.
Karon Blake was shot to death by an adult in the neighborhood after the shooter said he witnessed Karon tampering with cars in the area. The man reportedly interacted with Karon before ultimately shooting him with a registered gun.
The man called the police after the shooting and when officers arrived they found the man giving Karon CPR. The 13-year-old would later be pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Since the deadly shooting, no one has been arrested and police say no weapons have been recovered.
Police have not identified the shooter and neighbors have been left asking for answers.
"Of course, we just, we just don't know all the facts yet. So it's hard to say whether or not it's, you know, justified," said a neighbor who asked that his name not be used. "But, based on what we know now, it doesn't seem that way," he said.
On Tuesday, Contee held a press conference to clear up what he called misinformation being spread about the case.
"There's been too much misinformation swirling around this incident, too many people have made assumptions about this case and it is unfair to the grieving family," Contee said. "Spreading of inaccurate information is dangerous, reckless and has the potential to adversely impact the investigation and the relationships in our community."
Contee added that MPD is aware of images on social media showing people that have no connection to the case. He said people are sharing pictures of innocent people claiming the people in the pictures are the ones responsible for Karon's death.
"That's reckless and that's dangerous," Contee said. "Imagine if it was your picture beside his and people showed up at your house with half information. That's unacceptable. Let the police do the police job."
In the press conference, Contee again refused to identify the shooter, saying the department does not identify people in similar cases unless there is a warrant or it is a person they are actively trying to identify. He only confirmed that the shooter is a Black man who was not a law enforcement official.
When asked if the man called the police before the shooting to report the alleged suspicious activity, Contee said no. He asks people who see others tampering with cars in their area to call the police rather than take matters into their own hands.
"We want you to call the police," he said. "There are dangerous situations that we encounter, our police officers encounter those situations all the time."
Contee continued to speak passionately about the case, saying the case will move forward within the justice system and at that time an arrest can be made if warranted.
"There are a lot of cases that happen in our city where arrests are not immediately made because all of the facts are not known so for anyone, anyone to speculate or to make an assumption that 'oh an arrest-' so make an arrest immediately and a judge throws it out the next day, that's justice for the family? That's doing this case justice? No," said Contee. "We're gonna get this right, we're gonna do it the right way. We're not gonna be influenced because of some people who think that this should have happened or that should have happened."
Contee says detectives are actively investigating the deadly shooting, gathering evidence and facts to share with the United States Attorney's Office.
He thanked members of the community who have come forward with information and asked anyone with video evidence or information that could help to contact detectives at 202-727-9099 or by texting the department's tip line anonymously at 50411.
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