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A Black teenager who was shot after mistakenly going to the wrong house begged neighbors for help — but was ignored, family says

April 18, 2023

  • A Black teenager was shot in the head after showing up at the wrong house in Kansas City.
  • Ralph Yarl’s family said that he had to run to three different homes before he received any help.
  • “Someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up,” his aunt said.

A Black teenager who was shot after mistakenly going to the wrong house begged neighbors for help — but was ignored, his family wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Ralph Yarl, from Kansas City, Missouri, was shot in the head on the evening of April 13 after he went to pick up his younger twin brothers, officials said on Sunday.

The 16-year-old was meant to pick up his younger twin brothers at a friend’s house on N.E. 115th Terrace, but then mistakenly went to N.E. 115th Street, they said, according to CNN affiliate KMBC.

After ringing the doorbell, Yarl was shot by the homeowner, who police have not yet identified.

“Ralph was then able to get up and run to the neighbor’s house, looking for help,” Faith Spoonmore, who identified herself as Yarl’s aunt, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “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.”

Insider was unable to independently verify this information.

Yarl suffered life-threatening injuries but is recovering in a local hospital, Spoonmore said, adding that he “has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally.”

Kansas City Police Department said the homeowner was taken into custody and released after 24 hours.

Under Missouri state law, a person who is under investigation for a felony can be held for up to 24 hours, at which time they are then required to be charged or released.

The shooting sparked a protest in Kansas City on Sunday and also caught the attention of celebrities, including model Naomi Campbell and actress Halle Berry. 

“We recognize the frustration this can cause in the entire criminal justice process,” Police Chief Stacey Graves said in a press conference on Sunday.

“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 deserves,” she added.

Yarl is a junior in high school who is a good student and has a passion for music, Spoonmore said in the GoFundMe, which has raised more than $800,000 at the time of writing.

He is part of his high school’s Technology Student Association and Science Olympia Team and is a section leader in its marching band, she added. (Insider)

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