A horrific, heartbreaking story out of our nation's capital:
Vernard Toney Jr. died Sunday after he was shot on D Street NW, in the Penn Quarter area, the previous night. Police say an off-duty federal security officer shot Toney after he and another young person tried to carjack him. One of the juveniles held his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun, police said, and then the officer opened fire. Toney was shot and the other person ran.
Toney was in seventh grade at a local middle school, authorities said; he was "smart, funny and talented," according to the school's principal.
Think about that: SEVENTH GRADE. THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. And in the mess of our nation's capital, this kid already had a rap sheet.
He had "been accused in a string of previous carjackings," and had even been arrested last year, when he was 12 years old.
He was "known to the Metropolitan Police Department," Acting Chief of Police Pamela Smith said to media, "and it's just unfortunate that this particular incident happened on Saturday night that caused him to no longer be here."
Like many U.S. cities, crime in Washington is surging. Compstat data show a 30% surge in homicide in the city relative to last year, and a 70% surge in robbery. Motor vehicle theft, like that for which young Toney was killed, is more than 100%.
It's very bad indeed:
"All crime," according to the Compstat data, is up year-over-year in the city nearly 30%.
P.S. Now check out our latest video 👇