When a black teenager attempted to pick up his siblings from a home in Kansas City, Missouri, on Thursday night, he rang the wrong doorbell and was shot in the head, according to police.
Around 10:30 p.m., Ralph Yarl, 16, was supposed to pick up the siblings from N.E. 115th Terrace. However, the teen went to N.E. 115th Street instead, where he was met by gunfire at the door, according to Kansas City police.
Yarl was transported to a hospital with life-threatening wounds, where he was on the mend as of Sunday night.
The gun-firing homeowner was detained and later released after a 24-hour hold.
The Clay County Prosecutor’s Office is prepared to take over the case as police gather evidence, according to Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves.
We understand the frustration this can bring to the criminal justice system as a whole, Graves said.
The Clay County prosecutors will be given the case as soon as it is finished for review.
Officially, a case of mistaken identity was cited as the cause of the shooting.
Prior to the case being resolved, according to Graves, forensic evidence and a victim statement will be required.
Faith Spoonmore, Yarl’s aunt, claimed that the teen had intended to go to a house one block away.
The case, according to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, is receiving “the full attention of the Kansas City Police Department.”
This has not been minimized, marginalized, or in any other way diminished, said Lucas.
Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer, told the Kansas City Star that the homeowner ought to be held accountable.
When someone knocks on your door, you can’t just shoot them; knocking on your door isn’t a good enough reason, according to Crump.