Police in Kansas City, Missouri, said Sunday that a homeowner shot and hurt a teen who went to the wrong house to pick up his brothers.
On the evening of April 13, officers were called to a shooting call. When they got there, they found a teenager outside of a house who had been shot by a homeowner.
The teen was taken to a nearby hospital, where cops said on Sunday that his condition was stable.
Police found out that the teen’s parents had asked him to pick up his brothers at an address on 115th Terrace. Instead, he went to a house on 115th Street by mistake, where he was shot.
Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old junior in high school, was named as the teen in a statement from civil rights lawyers S. Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, who was hired by the victim and his family.
“Despite how bad his injuries are and how bad his condition is, Ralph is still alive and getting better,” the lawyers said in the statement.
Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said at a news conference on Sunday that the homeowner, who hasn’t been named, was taken into custody and put on a 24-hour hold. After that, he or she was let go pending further investigation because a formal statement from the victim and more forensic evidence needed to be gathered.
Graves said at the news conference that under Missouri law, a person can be held for up to 24 hours while a felony is being looked into. After that, they must be charged or let go.
KSHB said that hundreds of people gathered outside the house where Yarl was shot on Sunday to protest the killing.
Footage from KMBC shows that protesters marched while chanting “Justice for Ralph” and “Black lives matter.” They also carried signs that said “Ringing a doorbell is not a crime” and “The shooter should do the time.”
In a statement, the victim’s lawyers said, “We demand swift action from Clay County prosecutors and law enforcement to find, arrest, and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law the man responsible for this terrible and unjustifiable shooting.”
When asked if the killing could have been about race, the police chief said, “From what we know now, it doesn’t look like it was about race.” That is still being looked into. “But as the head of the police department, I do see the racial aspects of this case.”
Police Are Looking Into the Matter
Graves tried to reassure the people of Kansas City on Sunday that the cops will do what is right in this case.
“We know how frustrating this can make the whole process of criminal justice.” Graves said, “The women and men of the Kansas City Police Department are working as quickly and thoroughly as they can to make sure that the criminal justice process keeps moving as fast as everyone involved and our community deserve.”
The tweet below confirms the news:
16-year-old high school junior Ralph Yarl was shot and wounded by a homeowner after mistakenly going to the wrong home to pick up his siblings in Kansas City, Missouri, police said. https://t.co/wZooeptDs4
— CNN (@CNN) April 17, 2023
The mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas, said that the prosecutor’s office will do a full probe and review.
As a mom, I feel bad for the victim’s mother and the rest of the family. “I feel bad for them,” the mayor said.
Faith Spoonmore, who said she was Yarl’s aunt, set up a GoFundMe to help the family get money for Yarl’s hospital bills. As of Sunday night, more than $529,000 had been donated.
His aunt wrote in the fundraiser that Yarl was looking forward to finishing high school and going to West Africa before going to college, where he wants to study chemical engineering.
Spoonmore wrote that the teen is a section leader in a military band and was often found playing a musical instrument. A North Kansas City Schools newsletter from February said that Yarl played the Bass Clarinet and got a special mention for the Missouri All-State Band.
“Right now, life looks very different.” Even though he is physically doing well, he still has a long way to go in terms of his mind and emotions. “I can’t even imagine the pain he has to go through and survive,” the GoFundMe post says.
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