With a cold wind blowing, family, friends and neighbors of Karon Blake memorialized the 13-year-old who was shot to death last weekend by a homeowner in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood.
In an emotional display, Blake’s little sister dissolved into tears while speaking. His friend Marco stepped to the microphone, addressing those who came to the evening vigil.
“I would have just never expected it to be Karon,” Marco said. “I literally just saw him like two days before the news happened.”
The brief ceremony included a number of stories remembering Karon’s humor, intellect and meaning to the small community.
Rev. Dr. Loretta Houston with the St. John’s Baptist Church said she joined the vigil in giving love and support to the Brookland community in their time of grief.
“We’re on the weekend for Martin Luther King where it’s supposed to be peace and love and happiness, but I know this family cannot be happy at a time like this,” Rev. Houston said. “So we just want to give them love and support and we pray for everybody.”
Robert Brannum with D.C.’s chapter of the NAACP was in attendance and mourning Saturday evening as well. He called on the community to come together.
“It is unfortunate that we have to gather, but it is necessary for us to come together and gather as a community family to gather and comfort this family in this time and moment of grief,” Brannum told WTOP.
He added that the lack of clarity around the incident is part of the problem and the community could better understand precisely what happened with the release of body camera footage.
“I think the process — as it should be — must be carried out,” Brannum said. “However, I do feel that there should be some speed to the investigation (without) compromising the investigation.”
Blake was shot and killed after a city employee, currently on leave, claimed that Blake attempted to steal a car near his home. Officials said no additional identifying information will be made available pending an investigation.