Washington, DC

The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in the District of Columbia. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.

The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jason Lewis  PENDING

Date: January 7, 2023
Total Killed: 1

On January 7, 2023, at around 4:00 AM concealed handgun permit holder Jason Lewis, 41, allegedly shot and killed Karon Blake, 13, outside Lewis’ condo in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC. According to the arrest warrant, Lewis retrieved his .40 Smith & Wesson handgun after hearing noises which he thought may be someone trying to break into his ground floor condo. Lewis told police he saw three “youngsters” across the street, and yelled, “Hey! What are y’all doing?” Lewis initially claimed that Blake ran directly towards him, and that he fired twice in self-defense. However, authorities allege that though Blake and two others were tampering with or trying to break into cars when Lewis shouted at them, Blake was trying to get into a vehicle to run away. Police allege that Lewis fired a first shot at the vehicle, striking it and causing the driver to crash. It was at that point, according to police, that Blake ran toward Lewis, perhaps not realizing that it was Lewis who had fired the shot. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said that Lewis did not tell detectives that he fired the first shot at the vehicle, and called that omission his “biggest grievance” with the shooting, adding that the occupants of the vehicle posed no threat and “everything else that kind of unfolded is a result of that initial shot.” Surveillance cameras reportedly captured the last words Blake uttered as shots were fired, “I’m sorry. Please don’t. No. I am a kid.” On January 31, 2023, Lewis surrendered to authorities and was charged with second degree murder while armed.

Source: “D.C. man charged with killing 13-year-old he said was breaking into cars,” The Washington Post, January 31, 2023.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Aaron Alexis SHOT AND KILLED DURING INCIDENT

Date: September 16, 2013
People Killed: 13 (including shooter)

On September 16, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Aaron Alexis, 34, shot and killed 12 people at an office building at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.  Alexis entered the building with a Remington 870 shotgun hidden in his backpack.  At around 8:15 AM, Alexis emerged from a men’s room on the fourth floor of the building and began firing indiscriminately, killing 12 workers.  By 8:34 AM, Alexis was involved in a firefight with as many as seven teams of law enforcement officers.  Alexis was able to use a fourth floor balcony wall as concealment as he fired his shotgun from the balcony down through the building’s atrium.  While police at one point thought there may have been more than one shooter, Alexis acted alone and was killed by police at approximately 10:13 AM.  Alexis purchased his Remington 870 shotgun and two boxes of shells from Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Newington, Virginia just two days before the shooting.  Alexis had a concealed carry permit from Texas and had previously held one issued in the state of Washington.

Source: “Inside Sharpshooters, the Newington gun store where Aaron Alexis bought his shotgun,” The Washington Post, September 18, 2013; “Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis carved an indiscriminate path through Building 197,” The Washington Post, September 17, 2013; “Officials: Navy Yard shooter ID’ed as Aaron Alexis,” Associated Press, September 16, 2013.