A 13-year-old has paid with his life after a botched carjacking attempt in crime-infested Washington D.C.
The teen boy was shot dead after picking the wrong victim to allegedly carjack.
The victim was an armed federal security officer who was waiting for his shift to start.
The incident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday in the 600 block of D Street NW, near the D.C. Superior Court building.
The officer was sitting in his personal vehicle when two youths approached him, according to D.C. police.
The would-be robbers demanded his vehicle, the Washington Post reported.
The officer told investigators the pair ordered him out of his vehicle.
He said one of the crooks “had his hand in his front waistband pocket as if he had a handgun,” the Post said, citing a police report.
Police said the officer told investigators that, as he exited his vehicle, “he produced a handgun and shot one of the suspects,” the newspaper reported.
The teenager was shot once in the chest, the Post said, citing the police report.
A video report from WTTG-TV said both teens began to run toward 7th Street.
However, the teen who was shot fell to the ground.
Officers found a wounded juvenile male at the scene.
In a report about the failed carjacking, WTTG-TV said the teen was taken to a hospital, where he died.
The first WTTG video report said no gun was found on the fatally shot teen.
However, a second report from the station indicated that police said the teen who allegedly had his hand in his pocket was the suspect who ran off.
According to WTTG, the teen who escaped is still on the loose and there’s a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Police identified the deceased juvenile as Vernard Toney Jr. of southeast Washington D.C., the Post said.
The report added that a woman who identified herself as his grandmother declined to comment after being reached by phone Sunday.
The carjacking victim has been identified as William Reynolds, WTTG reported.
Police indicated they have the officer’s legally owned gun, the Post said.
The paper adds that the officer hasn’t been arrested and is cooperating with the investigation.
Police are reviewing video from security cameras, the Post added.
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The shooting comes amid heightened concern over carjackings, which had soared 108 percent in the District this year, compared with the same period in 2022.
As of Friday, police said there have been 821 carjackings in the city since January. Carjackings involving juveniles are also up this year.
In an incident last week, D.C. police said a 16-year-old girl driving a carjacked vehicle crashed into a utility pole in Northeast Washington and was killed.
Police arrested a 15-year-old girl who police say was involved in the carjacking.
The teen was previously in the custody of the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services because of robbery and theft charges, but the judge said she ordered the teen released because the agency had no available housing for her.
Violent crime in D.C. is up 41 percent this year, compared with this period in 2022, according to police statistics.
Capital One Arena is several blocks north of where the youth was killed Saturday night, and the Washington Wizards played a home game there that started about three hours before the shooting.
The area around 6th and D streets also includes the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. police department’s headquarters.