Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Kansas City over the weekend after 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot twice by a white homeowner when he went to the wrong house to pick up his younger siblings.
Ralph Yarl Shooting
According to the young man’s aunt, Ralph’s mother sent him to pick up his siblings from a friend’s house a few blocks away at 115th Terrace, but he went to 115th Street.
Ralph didn’t have his phone with him, so he was unable to use GPS, and he pulled into the driveway of the wrong home.
When he went to the front door and rang the doorbell, the white homeowner told him, “Don’t ever come back here,” and shot Ralph in the arm through the glass door.
As Ralph lay bleeding on the ground, the homeowner shot him again in the head.
It was by the grace of God that in spite of his injuries, Ralph was able to run to a nearby house. But, they wouldn’t open the door.
He ran to multiple homes before anyone would even consider helping him.
Kansas City Police responded to reports of a shooting on April 13, and when they arrived they found Ralph outside of a residence.
He was rushed to a hospital and thankfully is now in stable condition.
Watch below as Ralph’s aunt details what happened.
The homeowner, who shot Ralph Yarl, has not been identified.
He was taken into custody and placed on a 24-hour hold.
Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said in a news conference Sunday, that the shooter was later released due to the need to obtain a formal statement from the victim and to gather additional forensic evidence.
Speaking of evidence, when the shooter was released, he went right home and replaced his glass door, and swept up all of the evidence in front of his home.
You know? While the investigation is pending.
When asked if the shooting may have been racially motivated, Chief Graves said, “The information that we have now, it does not say that that is racially motivated. That’s still an active investigation. But as a chief of police, I do recognize the racial components of this case.”
Graves also attempted to assure the community that the police department is committed to bringing justice to this case.
“We recognize the frustration this can cause in the entire criminal justice process. The women and men of the Kansas City Police Department are working as expeditiously and as thoroughly as we can, to ensure the criminal justice process continues to advance as quickly as all involved and our community deserve,” Graves said.
Ralph Yarl And His Family Retain Civil Rights Attorneys S. Lee Merritt & Benjamin Crump
Civil rights attorneys S. Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump have been retained by Yarl and his family.
Merritt issued a press release along with the following statement:
We have formally been retained to seek justice for sixteen-year-old Ralph Yarl.
We have begun an independent investigation into this shooting and will be meeting with local, state, and federal prosecutors to ensure accountability.
See the original post from Attorney S. Lee Merritt’s Instagram account below.
Protestors Demand Justice & GoFundMe Launched
Protestors took to the streets of Clay County and in front of the home of the suspected shooter demanding justice for Ralph.
Nearly one thousand people marched to the Northland home where it happened chanting, “Justice for Ralph” and “Black Lives Matter.”
A GoFundMe has been launched to support Ralph Yarl’s medical, college, and family expenses during this challenging time.
Ralph’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, wrote:
On Thursday, April 13, 2023, my nephew Ralph Pual Yarl was on his way to pick up his twin younger brothers from their friend’s house a few blocks away from his house. He didn’t have his phone.
He mistakenly went to the wrong house, one block away from the house where his siblings were. He pulled into the driveway and rang the doorbell.
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. Ralph was then able to get up and run to the neighbor’s house, looking for help.
Unfortunately, he had to run to 3 different homes before someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up.
Ralph Pual Yarl is a fantastic kid, and I am not just saying this because he is my nephew. He truly is. At school, he is a member of the Technology Student Association and Science Olympia Team.
Jazz and competition band. He is a section leader in the marching band; a scholar and one of the top base clarinet players in Missouri. He recently earned Missouri All-State Band recognition with an honorable mention.
He plays multiple instruments in the metropolitan youth orchestra. He is a 2022 Missouri scholar academy alumni. Ralph can often be found with a musical instrument. He loves them all.
Last summer, Ralph attended Missouri Scholar’s Academy, where he got a full college life experience. His goal is to attend Texas A&M to major in chemical Engineering. When asked how he plans to get into this university, he said, “Well, if they have a scholarship for music or academics, I know I can get it.”
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.”
Ralph was looking forward to graduating high school and finally getting the opportunity to visit West Africa before starting college.
Life looks a lot different right now. Even though he is doing well physically, he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally. The trauma that he has to endure and survive is unimaginable. 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.
Ralph deserves to have the future that he has dreams about. He deserves to be the light that shows the world that LOVE wins and that humanity is still Good.
However, he will need a lot of help to get there. Funds from this account will be used for his medical bills and therapy.
Any additional funds will be used for college expenses at Texas A&M, a trip to West Africa, and other expenses.
In less than 24 hours, the GoFundMe has raised nearly $1 million dollars to support Ralph and his family.
Celebrities Speak Out
Various celebrities have taken to social media to share their outrage and heartbreak over another senseless shooting of a young Black man.
Halle Berry tweeted:
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.
This innocent child is now fighting for his life. This could be your child. This should NOT happen.
Please do something today! Join me and please contact Prosecutor Zachary Thompson and demand an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges:
Building: James S. Rooney Justice Center
Address: 11 South Water Street, Liberty, Missouri 64068
Fax: 816-736- 8301
See the original tweets below.
How You Can Demand Justice For Ralph Yarl
Shaun King has shared a number of ways you can join the fight for justice on behalf of Ralph Yarl.
➡️➡️➡️ Do these ALL DAY LONG. And share them!
🚨🚨🚨🚨 ACTION STEPS FOR RALPH YARL.
1. Click the 🔗🔗🔗 LINK IN MY BIO to DONATE and support Ralph and his family.
2. Email the prosecutor, Zachary Thompson:
➡️ And DEMAND that he files charges against the white man that shot young Ralph Yarl.
This is NOT a stand-your-ground case. Ralph was unarmed, of course, and was NEVER a threat to him or anyone else.
3. Call the prosecutor, Zachary Thompson @ 816-736-8300 and ask to speak to him or ANY HUMAN about the case.
4. Call the Kansas City Police Department @: 816.234.5111 & 816.234.5000
And let them know that they should have arrested the man that shot Ralph the DAY IT HAPPENED. If they lie and tell you that it’s up to the prosecutor you explain to them that you KNOW that’s not the case. They could’ve arrested that man on the spot. Instead they allowed him to go home and destroy all of the evidence.
My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with Ralph and his family.
This CANNOT slide through the cracks! Justice must be served!