On April 13th, a 16-year-old boy named Ralph Yarl walked up to a place of residence that he believed was the home of a family friend, where he was sent to pick up his younger siblings. According to reports, Ralph thought he was at 115 Terrance, but instead, he accidentally arrived at 115 Street in Kansas City, Missouri. So, when the 80-year-old homeowner opened his front door, he didn't recognize the teenager and reacted by shooting him in the head. The gunfire sent Ralph to the ground, where the 80-year-old homeowner stood over him and fired another shot, wounding the teenager even further. Ralph miraculously managed to get to his feet and run off of the shooter's property, but sadly when he knocked on the doors of various residents in the area, no one headed his desperate pleas for help until his third time asking. He was rushed to the hospital and was stabilized shortly after that.
According to Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves, the 80-year-old shooter has been taken into custody for the duration of an entire day, pending their investigation into the matter. He was later released after the police consulted with the Clay County Prosecutor's Office.
“I want everyone to know that I am listening,” Graves said during a news conference at the Kansas City police headquarters, “I understand the concern we are receiving from the community.”
Now, law enforcement will be tasked with determining whether or not the shooting was racially motivated or if the gunfire was justified under the protection of the 'Stand Your Ground Legislation.' Civil rights activist/family attorney, Ben Crump, appears to have been hired by Ralph Yarl's family. The 53-year-old recently shared his thoughts on the highly controversial matter that has garnered community-wide protests.
“We have been informed by his family that it was a White man who shot their 16-year-old son,” Crump said, "It is inescapable not to observe the racial dynamics here...If the roles were reversed, how much outrage would there be in America?”