KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is outrage and concern across the nation three days after a teenager was shot by a homeowner after going to the wrong address to pick up his siblings in Clay County.
Nearly one thousand people marched to the Northland home where it happened.
At the same time, The Kansas City Missouri police chief, along with Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Clay County prosecutor held a news conference promising a thorough investigation.
“Ralph [Yarl] will feel the love because this is a lot of people, it’s amazing” Dr. Faith Spoonmore, the 16-year-old’s aunt said.
People walked the streets in the Northland in support of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.
Ralph is a typical high schooler, with a love of music, but keeps a low profile.
“Ralph is quiet, he loves to play video games, play the saxophone and he’s just a good kid, a smart kid, you know,” Paul Yarl, Ralph’s dad, said.
On Thursday night, police initially said he went to pick up his siblings but mixed up the address.
He intended to go to Northeast 115th Terrace but went to Northeast 115th Street.
That’s when the homeowner shot Ralph. According to his family, he was shot twice, including once in the head. Police would not confirm how many times or where he was shot.
That night the homeowner was taken in for questioning. He was released pending further investigation.
“In this case, the prosecutor requires more information from investigators that would take more than 24 hours to compile,” Chief Stacey Graves of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department said.
Graves also said that she is listening and understands the cries from this community.
“We want the community to know that we are committed to justice in this case, and every case and work every day to seek that justice for all victims of all crimes,” Graves said.
Paul Yarl is still trying to wrap his head around having his junior fight for his life.
“It’s scary because we could have been talking about losing him. We just want justice, Ralph is a good kid, he doesn’t deserve what is happening to him,” Paul Yarl said.
Many are not only trying to empathize with the pain Ralph’s family feels but also expressing the idea that it could have been their kid who got an address mixed up.
“This is important. This could be anybody’s child, so I mean with all these people out here, you can see they feel this too. This could be their child, this could be their son or their daughter,” Dee Porter, who organized the protest, said.
For now, the Yarl family says their grateful for the support while they wrap healing arms around a teen in an unexpected battle to survive.
Justice is what they want from the law.
“Our message for the prosecutor: we want charges, that’s what we want. If he goes free, the next Black kid that rings that doorbell could get shot again. We don’t want that,” Paul said.
As of Monday, the prosecutor’s office has yet to receive any criminal referral from the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.
A GoFundMe was started for Ralph. If you want to donate, you can click here.