Ralph Paul Yarl Continues to Recover From 2 Gunshot Wounds After Accidentally Ringing Wrong Doorbell While Picking Up Siblings

On April 13, Ralph Paul Yarl – a black teenager from Kansas City, Missouri – suffered two gunshot wounds in his arm and head after accidentally ringing the wrong doorbell while picking up his siblings. The honest mistake – which should’ve been harmless – nearly cost a young man his life last week. 

He was supposed to be picking his siblings up at the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Terrace but ended up going to the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street. The difference between ‘Terrace’ and ‘Street’ was enough to land Ralph in the hospital in critical condition, though he has since been upgraded to stable.

The suspect in the shooting has yet to be identified and, while they were taken into custody following the incident, they were later released without charges being filed. Of course, charges are expected to be brought forth once enough evidence is gathered. The investigation is ongoing and moving swiftly. 

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In statements posted on Twitter, notable civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Lee Merritt say they’ve been retained by the family of Ralph Paul Yarl ‘following the unjustifiable shooting of the 16-yo by an unidentified white male assailant.’ Crump is calling for police to identify, arrest, & prosecute the suspect.

“There can be no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect after admitting to shooting an unarmed, non-threatening, and defenseless teenager that rang his doorbell,” their joint statement reads. Merritt added that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and criticized authorities for the delayed action.

In a press conference on Sunday, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves defended the delay and urged the community they’re following proper protocol in regard to the release of the suspect. According to Missouri law, a suspect can only be held for 24 hours unless formal charges are brought against them.

Graves went on to explain that a majority of suspects end up getting released before being charged, but their release doesn’t mean they can’t be charged once enough evidence is gathered. Graves explained that detectives and investigators are working ‘as expeditiously and as thoroughly as we can.’ 

Gunman Who Shot Ralph Paul Yarl Has Been Charged

After a flurry of protests sprouted across the community and nation – including at the site of the shooting – Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson has filed two felony charges, first-degree assault, and armed criminal action, against the shooter, who was identified as an 85-year-old white male, Andrew Lester

“We understand how frustrating this has been but I can assure the criminal justice system is working and will continue to work,” Thompson said of the ongoing investigation – adding it’s not clear at this time whether the shooting was racially motivated, but it appears the two didn’t interact prior to the shooting. 

In a video on social media, Yarl’s aunt – Faith Spoonmore – said her nephew parked in the suspect’s driveway, walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. After Lester opened the door, he shot Yarl in the head through a glass door. While Ralph was on the ground, Lester proceeded to shoot him again. 

As for Ralph Paul Yarl, he was released from the hospital on Sunday after suffering gunshot wounds to the head and arm on Thursday. He’s now continuing his recovery at home with his family as they await prosecution. At this point, the family just wants to know that the shooting suspect will be held responsible. 

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A GoFundMe was created by Spoonmore to help fund the cost of medical bills and therapy as he continues his recovery. The account has already received more than $2.6 million through nearly 70,000 donations.

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