Teen Shot After Accidentally Walking Into Wrong House To Pick Up Younger Brothers

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 04/18/2023
Whether race played a part in the killing of Ralph Yarl, a Black adolescent who went to the incorrect residence to pick up his younger siblings, is one of the issues being investigated, according to Kansas City police.

Chief Stacey Graves said on Sunday at a press conference at police headquarters that officers are working fast to gather evidence for prosecutors in relation to the incident on Thursday. Graves said, "I want everyone to know that I am listening and that I understand the worry that the community is expressing.


According to The Kansas City Star, the 16-year-old kid was shot while attempting to pick up his younger twin siblings from a friend's home on Thursday night. Yarl has been named online by family members as the victim. He went to the incorrect residence, according to the police, and was shot there.

While civil rights lawyer Ben Crump informed The Star that the gunman seems to be white, police have not yet identified the shooter or his ethnicity. Officials' current knowledge does not indicate that the shooting was racially motivated, but Graves said that element of the investigation is still ongoing.

Yarl was supposed to go to a friend's home on 115th Terrace and pick up his brothers. He ultimately decided to ring a doorbell at a residence on 115th Street. The teen's aunt, Faith Spoonmore, posted something online.

Yarl was shot in the head as a guy opened the door and spotted him. The guy shot Yarl once more once he hit the ground. Yarl stood up and left the premises, but before anybody could assist him, he had to knock on three other houses, according to Spoonmore. Around 10 o'clock, according to Kansas City police officers, they responded.

The homeowner was taken into jail on Thursday and put on a 24-hour hold, according to Graves' statement on Sunday. Detectives discovered the weapon used while looking around the site for evidence. After speaking with the Clay County prosecutor's office, law enforcement released the subject awaiting more investigation.

In a statement issued on Monday, Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson said that his office had not yet received a criminal referral about the incident from the Kansas City Police Department.

According to Thompson, "We are actively working with law enforcement in an effort to speed up that process."

According to Missouri law, a suspect may be detained for up to 24 hours during a criminal inquiry. The individual must then be either freed or detained and officially charged. According to Graves, law enforcement need a formal victim statement, forensic evidence, and other details in order to complete a case file and make an arrest.

Graves said that the teen's injuries prevented authorities from obtaining a victim statement. According to Graves, investigators would also take into account whether or not "Stand Your Ground" rules applied to the suspect.

At the press conference, Mayor Quinton Lucas noted that the police were aware of the community's worries that the shooting could have had racial undertones. To hear the community's concerns, several police officers went to the demonstration that was held on Sunday in the area where the shooting occurred, he added.

"This has not been minimised, marginalised, or in any way lessened. The Kansas City Police Department is paying close attention to this, according to Lucas.

On Sunday, Crump informed The Star that the family had hired his Florida legal firm.

When someone knocks on your house, you can't simply kill them; knocking on your door isn't a good enough reason, according to Crump. "This man needs to face charges." Crump has defended the families in a number of well-known cases, including those of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin.

According to Crump, the homeowner first shot the adolescent in the head, and then again after the teenager had already hit the ground. Additionally, the family has hired civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt from Texas. Merritt previously worked with the family of Cameron Lamb, who was fatally shot by Kansas City police detective Eric DeValkenaere in 2019.

According to Crump, the gunman is Caucasian based on what the teen's relatives told him. He said that it was impossible to ignore the racial dynamics at work.

Yarl "is doing well physically, but he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally," Spoonmore said on a GoFundMe page she set up to seek money for Yarl's medical bills and other costs.

According to Missouri State Representative Marlene Terry, the Kansas City Police Department must act fast to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident, CBS station KVTV said. Rep. Terry said, "Once again, Missouri has seen the shooting of an unarmed Black male youngster, this time due to his knocking on the incorrect house while picking up his brothers.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter, Bernice King, said on Twitter that "we need to work for the legislative and heart change to prevent these tragedies."

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