A D.C. mother has reported her 12-year-old son, suspected to be a car thief, to police after his 13-year-old accomplice was shot and killed by an off-duty officer, believed to be the intended victim.
The boy, whose identity is not known, was brought before the juvenile court on Wednesday afternoon.
His mother called police on Oct. 31 after seeing a photo authorities shared of the suspect and recognizing the juvenile.
Police used the 12-year-old’s clothing, including a black hoodie, light gray sweatpants and Jordan sneakers with a reflective tongue, to link the boy to the crime.
His alleged accomplice who was shot and killed is 13-year-old Vernard Toney Jr. Toney was described by his school principal as “a bright and talented student.”
A blurry photo of the 12-year-old suspect identified by his mother as an alleged car thief. She called the police and he was arrested on Tuesday
Toney, a seventh-grader, had been a suspect in a number of previous carjackings. He was arrested in May in connection with several such crimes that occurred in Southeast DC.
It’s not clear what happened to these cases, though crime-ridden DC is infamous for recent efforts to ease sentences for criminals in an effort to promote racial “equality.”
“(Toney) was an acquaintance of the Metropolitan Police Department, and it’s just unfortunate that this particular incident occurred Saturday night and caused him to no longer be here,” Acting Police Chief Pamela Smith said.
His director went on to describe his “natural comedic ability” and his love of making people laugh, “especially when he joked about being the director of Kelly Miller MS.” Vernard also enjoyed playing basketball and spending his free time on the court with his friends.”
The 12-year-old’s accomplice, Vernard Toney Jr., 13, was shot and killed during the carjacking
A D.C. Police Department detective and member of the carjacking task force testified in court Wednesday that while there was no audio, surveillance video captured the two boys approaching the car — which belonged to an off-duty federal security officer — from behind .
The officer sat in the vehicle and checked his phone before starting work.
A detective told the juvenile court judge that the video showed the two boys appearing to have a conversation before placing their right hands on their waistbands and continuing to walk toward the officer’s car.
The detective said the 13-year-old walked right along the sidewalk, opened the passenger side door and entered the vehicle.
The 12-year-old was identified as the suspect who walked around the front of the car, opened the driver’s side door and said, “Get the (expletive) out.” You know what this is,” the off-duty officer said.
The officer said the juvenile kept his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun, and that’s when the officer opened fire. Toney was shot and the other accomplice ran away.
The two boys attempted to carjack an off-duty police officer on Saturday evening, leading to the fatal shooting of one of them
The magistrate judge said on Wednesday: “This is a very, very bad report,” raising concerns after reviewing the 12-year-old’s history, which includes a history of serious behavioral problems including anger management.
The court was also told he started smoking marijuana at the age of 11.
After his arrest, the youth reportedly said he deals with a rough crowd and knows where they can get a gun.
The mother of the troubled boy said she has tried to get help for her son and even contacted a local hospital to work with her son in an effort to prevent exactly these types of events.
The 12-year-old is being held at YSC, the city’s secure youth facility, until at least Monday, when he is due back in court.
The number of carjackings in the nation’s capital is so high that Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced that residents of certain parts of the city will receive free AirTags during events held from November 7 to 9.
Bowser said at the press conference, “These tags and tiles will help MPD recover stolen vehicles and hold people accountable.
“It will also get the word out that this is not a community that comes in and steals cars.”
During the distribution event, police officers will help install the tags in cars. The tag can be installed anywhere in the car and its location is not accessible to the police.
The free AirTags work the same as Apple designed them. If a car is stolen, the owner can look up its location in the ‘Find My’ app on their Apple iPhone.
An alternative tracking device for Android users is the Tile tracker, which will also be distributed at the same events. They function the same as AirTags.
Bowser also told the audience that dashcams will be distributed to truck and delivery drivers next week for their safety.
Acting Chief Smith did not clarify how many tags will be handed out during the events.
She told the conference: ‘Our carjackings, car thefts and unauthorized use of vehicles are up 36 percent this year compared to last year.
In 2023, car thefts in the DC area are reportedly up 101 percent, with the MPD reporting a total of 5,916 stolen cars and 754 carjackings this year.