Kansas City Teen Ralph Yarl Shot After Ringing Wrong Doorbell
April 19, 2023
Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old Black teenager, was shot and seriously wounded by a man in his 80s on April 13 in Kansas City, Missouri, after he rang the doorbell of the man’s house that night.
Police said the teenager was picking up his siblings at a house on Northeast 115th Terrace, but went to a house on Northeast 115th Street by mistake, according to FOX59. Yarl was “shot twice and struck in the head and arm,” his family’s attorneys said in a statement, according to CNN.
Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson identified the shooter as a White man named Andrew D. Lester, 84. Thompson’s office has filed felony criminal charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action against Lester, NPR reported.
Thankfully, the teen’s father, Paul Yarl, told The Kansas City Star on Monday, April 17, that his son was released from the hospital on Sunday.
“He continues to improve. He’s responsive and he’s making good progress,” Paul said.
Kansas City police said the homeowner who allegedly shot Ralph was taken into custody on Thursday and placed on a 24-hour hold before he was released, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said Sunday.
“There can be no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect,” civil rights attorneys Lee Merritt and Ben Crump, who took on the case, said in a statement, according to NBC.
Now, a neighbor who called 911 after Ralph came to her door bleeding has spoken out about a child being injured in another tragic case of gun violence in the United States.
“We figured out then he went to the wrong street, which is no excuse for what happened,” the neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told CNN.
“This is somebody’s child. I had to clean blood off of my door, off of my railing. That was someone’s child’s blood. I’m a mom…this is not OK.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also wrote on Twitter, “Let’s be clear: No child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell. Every child deserves to be safe. That’s the America we are fighting for.”
Phillips Law Group strongly condemns this act of violence. Every child deserves to live free from violence, but for many in America, their reality is very different.
Our nation’s kids pay an enormous price for our lack of common sense gun laws. We must do better for our children and seek justice for Ralph Yarl.
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