Murder charge in stabbing death of DC teen outside school

A 16-year-old boy was arrested and charged Thursday following the stabbing death of another teen outside a school in Northeast D.C.

The 16-year old, who D.C. police have not identified except to say he’s from Southwest, is charged with second degree murder while armed.

Kemon Payne, 15, of Southeast, died after the stabbing near the Metrobus stop at KIPP DC College Preparatory on Brentwood Parkway Northeast on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement posted to Facebook, KIPP DC described Payne as “a beloved and charismatic 9th grader. He loved sports, his family, and his leadership presence could command the attention of any room.”

“The entire KCP community is mourning the loss of Kemon,” said Stephanie Young, principal of KIPP DC College Preparatory. “He was a vibrant part of our school and he will be deeply missed.”

According to D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, there was a large gathering of young people in the area Wednesday, and there was an altercation that happened between Payne and another teen.

“We do not know the reason for the altercation. But we know that a young man was stabbed as a result of this altercation in front of the school that he attends,” Contee said.

An off-duty D.C. police officer was working inside of the school and noticed that children from the school had not immediately left the area. That off-duty officer requested assistance from D.C. police, who arrived at the scene and assisted with safe passage, Contee said. Administrators were also helping with safe passage when the stabbing happened in front of the school.

On the increase of violence involving juveniles, Contee said the focus should be on how to help young people resolve conflict peacefully, “without resorting to the use of a knife or gun or violence.”

“I’m sure that whatever the underlying issue is, it’s not going to be something that a kid — a 15-year-old kid — should have lost his life over today, at the conclusion of school,” Contee said.

The school canceled classes Thursday and said that counselors will be available to students. There will also be added police presence and private security at the school in the coming days.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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