A black teenager has been shot in the head twice after he ‘mistakenly went to the wrong house’ late at night in Kansas City, Missouri, to pick up his younger twin brothers.
Ralph Yarl, 16, was fired upon by a white homeowner on 115th Street on Thursday night, in what is being labelled a ‘hate crime’ by his family. His family say he pulled into the driveway of the home on Thursday night at 10:00p.m. believing it to be on 115th Terrace, which is where he was picking up his twin brothers.
The teen – who is a school scholar and aspired to study chemical engineering at Texas A&M University – rang the doorbell believing it to be that of his friends and was immediately shot at.
‘The man in the home opened the door, looked my nephew in the eye, and shot him in the head,’ his aunt, Faith Spoonmore, wrote. ‘My nephew fell to the ground, and the man shot him again.’ The teen fell to the ground but was still conscious and managed to make his escape and run to a next-door neighbour for help.
But assistance wasn’t forthcoming, and he had to knock on the doors of three different homes before someone finally came to his aid – and even then, was told to lie on the ground with his hands up. Ralph was immediately rushed to the hospital where he is now recovering from his injuries.
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.’
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.’
Police obtained the firearm that was used in the incident but have explained their delay on bringing charges against the homeowner because they are waiting for the teen to make his own statement as to what happened.