Black teenager shot ‘in head’ after going to wrong house to collect younger brothers

US News

A black teenager in the US has been shot in the head after going to the wrong house to pick up his younger twin brothers, his family has said.

Ralph Yarl, 16, is in hospital following the shooting which happened at about 10pm on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri.

Police said he went to the wrong house and was shot there.

A GoFundMe page, thought to be set up by Ralph’s aunt Faith Spoonmore, said the boy was shot once in the head and a second time after he fell to the ground.

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Ralph’s aunt said the teenager escaped but had to knock at three different homes before someone helped him.

Police said Ralph had a life-threatening injury but was in a stable condition.

Ralph Yarl was described by family members as a talented musician Pic: Facebook
Ralph was described by family members as a talented musician. Pic: Facebook

The homeowner who allegedly shot Ralph was taken into custody on Thursday. He has been released pending further investigation.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump told local media that Ralph’s family said the gunman was white.

“It is inescapable not to acknowledge the racial dynamics at play,” said Mr Crump, who is representing Ralph’s family.

Officials have not named the alleged attacker or confirmed their race. They have also not confirmed the number of times the victim was shot or the extent of his injuries.

Mr Crump has represented the families in several high-profile cases including Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Police yet to take victim statement

Missouri law allows a person to be held for up to 24 hours for a felony investigation. At that point, the person must be released or arrested and formally charged.

To arrest someone, law enforcement needs a formal victim statement, forensic evidence and other information for a case file to be completed.

Because of the teenager’s injuries, police have not yet been able to take a victim statement.

Kansas City police chief Stacey Graves said: “I want everyone to know that I am listening and I understand the concern we are receiving from the community.”

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The shooting sparked a protest in Kansas City on Sunday, with hundreds gathering outside the home where Ralph was allegedly shot.

Ralph’s aunt said he was a “fantastic kid” and a talented musician who wanted to study chemical engineering at university.

She wrote: “Life looks a lot different right now. Even though he is doing well physically, he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally.

“The trauma that he has to endure and survive is unimaginable. He is our miracle.

“We have heard these types of stories many times, and unfortunately, most black boys are not alive to get another chance.

“Ralph deserves to have the future that he has dreams about.”

The GoFundMe page that is raising money for his medical expenses has collected more than $700,000 (£565,000).

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