Ralph Yarl: Protests erupt after Kansas City shooting of Black teenager

Kansas City, Missouri - A Black 16-year-old in Kansas City was shot in the head and seriously wounded after ringing the doorbell at the wrong house when he went to pick up his siblings.

16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot in Kansas City when he accidentally went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings.
16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot in Kansas City when he accidentally went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings.  © Screenshot/GoFundMe/Faith Spoonmore

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said in a Sunday press conference that officers were called to a residence just after 10:00 PM on Thursday after a teenager was shot by the homeowner.

The homeowner was released pending further investigation.

The teenaged victim, identified by family online as high-school junior Ralph Paul Yarl, was taken to a hospital for treatment. The family said Yarl had gone to pick up his siblings from a home on 115th Terrace, but accidentally went to the wrong location on 115th Street instead.

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The family's attorneys, Ben Crump and Lee Merritt, released a statement on Sunday, saying, "There can be no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect after admitting to shooting an unarmed, non-threatening and defenseless teenager that rang his doorbell! We demand swift action from Clay County prosecutors and law enforcement to identify, arrest and prosecute to the full extent of the law the man responsible for this horrendous and unjustifiable shooting."

The lawyers noted that Yarl is "alive and recovering" despite the grave injuries he suffered.

Police have not released the shooter's identity, though Crump and Merritt have described him as a "white male."

Protests erupt following shooting of Ralph Yarl

Protests broke out in Kansas City following the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.
Protests broke out in Kansas City following the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.  © Unsplash/Thomas de Luze

After the news of the shooting, protesters, including members of Yarl's family, flooded the street outside the assailant's home on Sunday demanding accountability for the attack.

Several prominent celebrities have also spoken out after the incident.

"His name is #RalphYarl and I’m sick and tired of this feeling…my heart completely broke when I learned this precious 16-year-old, who accidentally rang the door of the wrong address in an attempt to pick up his siblings, was shot in the head by a man who didn’t want him on his property," tweeted actor Halle Berry. "Please do something today! Join me and please contact Prosecutor Zachary Thompson and demand an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges."

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Actor and singer Jennifer Hudson posted on Facebook: "My God !!! Heartbroken for this young man and his family. Praying for his complete recovery."

A GoFundMe started by Faith Spoonmore, who says she is Yarl's aunt, has raised nearly $1 million for the teen's medical bills, therapy, and college funds.

Cover photo: Screenshot/GoFundMe/Faith Spoonmore

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