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Black teenager shot after going to wrong house to pick up siblings

Posted at 10:30 AM, Apr 17, 2023

The shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl has outraged people in Kansas City, Missouri, and across the nation.

Police say Ralph was shot when he went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings Thursday night.

"Detectives and crime scene personnel immediately responded, processed the scene and recovered the firearm," said Kansas City Police Department Chief Stacey Graves said.

The homeowner was taken into custody immediately following the shooting and subsequently released. 

As news of the shooting spread, members of the community have called for charges to be filed against the homeowner.  

The police department is reportedly waiting for Ralph to be well enough to give a statement before turning the case over to the local prosecutor's office to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

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Members of the community have come out in support of the Black teenager. Many believe the shooting was racially motivated. 

Karen Allman, longtime resident of the neighborhood, attended a protest on Sunday. She said she was shocked when she heard what happened.

"I realize that justice doesn’t come overnight, but that fact that there is a kid in the hospital and everything I read says not even a charge has been done, that concerns me,” Allman said.

Ralph's family was also in attendance of the rally, which was held outside of the home where he was shot. They said he is making progress in his recovery. 

“We are telling a story that is different from the stories you normally hear,” said Faith Spoonmore, Ralph's aunt. “He is alive and he is healing.”

The shooting has generated concern across the country, especially from prominent individuals in the Black community. 

Actress Halle Berry said her heart “completely broke” when she learned what happened.

“This innocent child is now fighting for his life. This could be your child. This should NOT happen,” Berry tweeted.

Singer Jennifer Hudson said she is praying for Ralph.

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., said she believes the homeowner should be charged.

“My goodness … let’s be for justice, which is a continuum,” King said.

The attorney representing Ralph's family describes the 16-year-old as a good kid who loves music and playing the clarinet. 

"He is loved by his family and community and he has a bright bright future," said attorney Lee Merritt.