After a 13-year-old was shot and killed during a carjacking in downtown D.C., District officials spoke about what happened and who the child was.
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 a seventh grader at Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast D.C. He was smart, funny and talented, his principal said in a letter to families.
"He had a natural comedic ability and loved to make people laugh, especially when he would joke that he was the principal of Kelly Miller MS. Vernard also loved to play basketball and spend his free time on the court with his friends,” the letter said.
Toney had been accused in a string of previous carjackings. Two sources familiar with the investigation say Toney was arrested in May in connection with a number of armed carjackings in Southeast D.C. He was 12 at the time. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened with the cases.