(VitalNews.org) – A 13-year-old boy has been shot dead after allegedly attempting to carjack an off-duty security officer in Washington D.C. Vernard Toney Jr. is said to have approached the car at 10pm on Saturday October 28 along with a 12-year-old, who has since been arrested. According to the police report, the youths approached the federal officer and demanded he get out of his car. One of the suspects is alleged to have held his hand in his front waistband pocket in a manner suggestive of holding a gun.
The off-duty officer, who was waiting for his shift at work to begin, stepped out of the car. Upon exiting the Toyota Highlander, however, he shot Toney Jr. and killed him. The other suspect fled the scene on foot, but was arrested on the following Tuesday, October 31. He has been charged with armed carjacking.
The victim of the alleged carjacking attempt, William Reynolds, is said to be cooperating with investigators. It is not known whether he was in uniform, or for which agency he works, although the authorities have confirmed that he owns his gun legally. His firearm was recovered at the scene by the responding police officers. No other firearm was recovered from the scene.
Washington D.C. has seen an incredible 107% increase in carjackings so far in 2023 compared to the same period of the previous year. From January to October this year, there have been over 820 reported carjackings in the capital. Nearly three-quarters of these have involved the use of firearms, despite the city having some of the tightest firearm restrictions in the US. Out of the 134 suspects arrested, 84 have been minors.
According to sources close to the investigation, Vernard Toney Jr. had already been arrested in May 2023 for his alleged involvement in nine armed carjackings in the city that took place between March and April. He was only 12 years old at the time of his arrest.
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