The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Group gathers to mourn D.C. youth, demand answers

13-year-old Karon Blake was shot by a man who said he saw the youth breaking into vehicles, police said

A vigil in Northeast D.C. on Jan. 14 for Karon Blake, who was killed on Jan. 7. (Clarence Williams/The Washington Post)

Tears lined Zaire Matthews’s face as the boy put his arms around his younger sister while she wept.

Moments before, the siblings tearfully told a crowd of more than 100 mourners in Northeast D.C. about the pain they felt after the fatal shooting of their older brother, 13-year-old Karon Blake.

“I don’t like waking up knowing my brother’s not here with me no more,” Zaire said at a vigil for Karon held Saturday night. “It hurts. It really hurts.”

Karon was shot in Brookland by a man who said he had seen the youth breaking into vehicles, D.C. police have said.

Police have released limited information so far about the killing, which has provoked anger throughout the city, and prompted demands from supporters of Karon’s family for public identification of the man who shot Karon. Activists have called on police to charge the man with a crime.

Social media sleuths seek name of Karon Blake’s shooter, as outrage builds

Police have said the man told them he heard noises shortly before 4 a.m. on Jan. 7, left his residence with his legally registered handgun and saw someone it appeared was breaking into vehicles. Two people ran, and the man told police he confronted Karon and shot him. Police have said there is no indication the youth was armed.

Authorities have asked for patience as they investigate.

During the vigil, dozens carried blue and black balloons that they later released as the crowd cried “We love you Karon!” and “Justice for Karon!”

A middle school classmate remembered Karon as the nicest boy in school. A neighbor recalled him riding a bike down the street just days before he was killed.

Karon’s grandmother Sharina Blake praised the outpouring of support. “I’m just grateful that everybody is here to celebrate Karon,” she said.

Images of Karon were projected on the walls of an apartment complex accompanied by words of love, but also messages directed at city officials asking for “transparency” and “accountability.”