Ralph Yarl walks in brain injury awareness event just weeks after getting shot in the head
Kansas City, Missouri - Ralph Yarl, the Black 17-year-old who was shot in the head by an 85-year-old white man last month, walked in a brain injury awareness event on Monday just weeks after he was released from the hospital.
Yarl walked in the Going the Distance for Brain Injury event, an annual Memorial Day race in Kansas City, along with many other participants who registered to join on "Team Ralph." It was the teen's first public event since his high-profile shooting sparked renewed Black Lives Matter protests.
"It takes a community. It takes a family. It takes a support group, all of that," Yarl’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, said before the event, per the Associated Press.
"Let's raise more awareness to stop the things that cause brain injuries and should not be causing them, especially gun violence."
Yarl's aunt, Faith Spoonmore, noted that her nephew has suffered migraines and balance issues in recent weeks, as well as mood changes and psychological trauma.
"It’s important for Ralph to see that he is not alone," Spoonmore said ahead of the race.
Ralph Yarl suffers traumatic brain injury in shooting
Yarl suffered a traumatic brain injury after getting shot in the head and arm in April when he accidentally rang the doorbell at the wrong house to pick up his siblings.
On the day of the shooting, the homeowner, 85-year-old Andrew Lester, was detained and released without charges after two hours, leading to protests over law enforcement's response to the incident.
Lester has since been charged with first-degree felony assault and armed criminal action.
Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/GoFundMe/Faith Spoonmore & CHASE CASTOR / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP