Protesters marched over the weekend in Kansas City, Missouri, after a 16-year-old boy was shot in the head when he went to the wrong house to pick up his sibling.
Ralph Yarl is hospitalized and recovering from critical injuries, KMBC reported, but the homeowner was released from custody pending further investigation.
“A person can be held up for 24 hours for investigation of a felony, at which time they’re required by Missouri law to be charged or released,” Police Chief Stacey Graves said at a news conference on Sunday. “The vast majority of cases to include violent crime involve the suspect being released pending further investigation. In this case, the prosecutor requires more information from investigators. That would take more than 24 hours to compile.”
Graves said the prosecutors need a victim statement, which will happen as soon “as the teen’s injuries allow.”
Officer processed the scene after the Thursday night shooting and seized the firearm, he said.
Graves and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas acknowledged the racial aspect of the shooting.
“We’re all trying our best to make sure that people understand that we are listening. And further, understand that the department is listening on every situation where any circumstances may come up that impacts race or other dynamics in our community,” Lucas said.
“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.
Hundreds of people protested over the weekend, including in front of the house where the shooting took place. Investigators say that Yarl’s mother sent him to pick up a sibling at a house on NE 115th Terrace, but he mistakenly went to 115th Street, where the homeowner shot him when he knocked on the door.
According to a GoFundMe set up by his aunt to help with medical expenses, Yarl is a section leader in his high school marching band and also plays in the school’s jazz and competition bands. He earned an honorable mention in the Missouri All-State Band competition and plays multiple instruments in the metropolitan youth orchestra. He wants to go to Texas A&M University after high school to major in chemical engineering.
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[Featured image: Ralph Yarl/GoFundMe]