WASHINGTON, DC – A 12-year-old boy in Washington, DC, has been turned over to the police by his mother in connection with a carjacking incident involving his 13-year-old accomplice, who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer believed to be the intended victim. The boy, whose identity remains undisclosed, faced proceedings in a juvenile court on Wednesday after his mother identified him in a photo released by authorities.
The investigation connected the 12-year-old to the crime through his clothing, which matched the description of the suspect’s attire during the carjacking. The incident resulted in the death of 13-year-old Vernard Toney Jr., who had been previously suspected of several carjackings.
According to a police detective and carjacking task force member who testified in court, surveillance footage showed the two boys approaching a vehicle, which belonged to an off-duty federal security officer. The video appeared to capture the boys engaging in a conversation before both placing their right hands on their waistbands and continuing towards the vehicle.
The 13-year-old opened the passenger-side door and entered the vehicle, while the 12-year-old approached the driver’s side and allegedly threatened the officer. The officer opened fire, resulting in Toney’s shooting death while the 12-year-old fled the scene.
The juvenile court judge expressed concerns about the 12-year-old’s history, which included severe behavioral issues and early marijuana use, noting that he had associations with a problematic crowd and knowledge of obtaining a gun. The troubled boy’s mother claimed that she had sought help for her son and contacted a local hospital to intervene before such an incident occurred. As of now, the 12-year-old is being held at the city’s secured juvenile facility and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
Carjacking incidents have surged in Washington, DC, to such an extent that Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced the distribution of free AirTags and Tile trackers to residents in certain areas of the city. These tracking devices aim to assist law enforcement in locating stolen vehicles and deterring car thieves. Car thefts in the DC area have seen a 101 percent increase in 2023, with 5,916 stolen cars and 754 carjackings reported this year.