Was Ralph Yarl shot by white Kansas City, Missouri homeowner after knocking on wrong door cause he was black? Relatives demand hate crime charges as authorities are criticized for not charging white homeowner in his 80’s as they continue to investigate incident.
A black teenager was shot in the head twice by a white homeowner after he mistakenly went to the wrong house to pick up his younger brothers.
Ralph Yarl, 16, an ‘academically gifted’ teen boy was shot outside a house in Kansas City, Missouri, just a block away from the property his siblings were waiting to be picked up from.
Reports told of the teen pulling into the driveway of the home at 10pm, ringing the doorbell and immediately shot in the head by a ‘white’ man in his 80’s.
His aunt Dr Faith Spoonmore claims that when he fell to the floor, Ralph was shot again but miraculously managed to run next door to a neighbor for help.
The family of the teenager has branded the incident a ‘hate crime’, with Ralph currently recovering from his injuries in hospital, CNN reported.
Kansas City 85yr old man charged w/ racial shooting of 16yr old black teen knocking on wrong door
Homeowner shot black teen in the head upon opening door
Ralph, who aspired to study chemical engineering at Texas A&M University, was forced to knock on three doors before he was helped.
The teenager was still told to lie on the ground with his hands up despite suffering from the gunshot injuries.
Dr Spoonmore said: ‘The man in the home opened the door, looked my nephew in the eye, and shot him in the head. My nephew fell to the ground, and the man shot him again.’
The teen is known among his peers for his intellect and for being a ‘musical genius.’
Ralph is part of his high school’s Technology Student Association and Science Olympia Team, plays in the marching, jazz, and competition band, and is one of the top base clarinet players in Missouri.
He had big dreams of attending college, after being recognized as a Missouri scholar academy alumni in 2022.
His family has set up a GoFundMe page to handle medical expenses and have stated that he has ‘a long road ahead of him mentally and emotionally.’
Authorities decline to charge homeowner pending investigation
The alleged gunman, who has not been identified, was taken into custody soon after the incident and to give a statement but was later ‘released pending further investigation.’
Of note, the homeowner was taken into police custody on April 13 just before midnight and was released less than two hours later at 1:24 a.m. on April 14, CNN reported.
Police obtained the firearm that was used in the incident but have explained their delay in bringing charges against the homeowner because they are waiting for the teen to make his own statement as to what happened.
The release of the gunman did not sit well with civil rights attorney Lee Merritt who stated in tweet on Sunday morning, ‘Ralph is fighting for his life. This man must be arrested. We are on our way.’
On Sunday afternoon, the Chief of the Kansas City Police Department, Stacey Graves, also justified the decision to release the alleged gunman.
‘The vast majority of cases to include violent crime involve the suspect being released pending further investigation,’ Chief Graves said. ‘In this case, the prosecutor requires more information from investigators that would take more than 24 hours to compile throughout the weekend.
Dr. Faith Spoonmore is the aunt of Ralph Yarl. Please don’t scroll by and not listen! #ralphyarl pic.twitter.com/FvlUh33IQQ
— alexa, tell me a dad joke👨👧👦 1 to go 🦅 (@fitdadceo) April 16, 2023
Protesters turn up to homeowner’s front yard
‘We want the community to know that we are committed to justice in this case and every case and work everyday to seek that justice for all victims of all crimes,’ Graves said while noting that she was ‘listening’ and understood the community’s ‘concern.’
Graves explained how detectives were working to compile forensic evidence and to take a formal statement from Ralph before deciding whether to bring charges.
Graves said the KCPD will forward the case to the Clay County prosecutor’s office to what determine charges, if any, be brought.
Despite such assurances, hundreds of protesters turned up out outside the alleged gunman’s home on 115th Street on Sunday afternoon, demanding immediate justice.
Ralph’s family described him as a fantastic child who dreamt of attending Texas A&M for chemical engineering.
A talented bass clarinet player, Ralph also leads a section of his school’s marching band and plays multiple instruments in the Northland Symphony Youth Orchestra.
‘Ralph can often be found with a musical instrument,’ aunt Spoonmore wrote on Instagram. ‘He loves them all.’
She noted how it was a miracle that her nephew was alive.
‘He is our miracle. We have heard these types of stories many times, and unfortunately, most black boys are not alive to get another chance.’
‘This was not an ‘error.’ This is a hate crime,’ she wrote on Instagram. ‘You don’t shoot a child in the head because he rang your doorbell.’
According to his family members, Ralph’s teacher and friends describe him as ‘ a kind soul,’ ‘quiet,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘well-mannered,’ ‘always willing to help,’ ‘super smart,’ and a ‘musical genius.’