GoFundMe donations for a Black teenager who was shot in the head by a white homeowner after mistakenly going to the wrong location have surpassed $2.6 million. The campaign was started to help the teen.
During his trip to pick up his younger twin brothers from a friend’s house on Thursday, April 13, Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old high school student, was shot twice.
Ralph had gone to pick up his brothers from a friend’s house on 115th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri, but got confused about the address and ended up at a residence on 115th Street instead, according to Kansas City Police.
Hollywood actors Halle Berry and Viola Davis have spoken out to demand justice for a Black teenager who was shot in the head by a white homeowner in Kansas City.
The homeowner, subsequently identified as 84-year-old Andrew Lester, reportedly opened fire on Ralph when he rang the doorbell there, shooting him twice.
The white homeowner was first detained before being released without being charged, while the Black teen was taken to the hospital in a critical condition.
Prosecutors charged Mr. Lester on Monday with assault in the first degree, a crime that carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison or life. He was also accused of engaging in armed criminal activity, a crime that carries a sentence of three to 15 years.
Prior to the shooting, demonstrators, the victim’s family, and an increasing number of celebrities asked that the gunman be charged with a crime.
Donations have been flooding in on a GoFundMe campaign, set up to help pay for the boy’s recovery.
On the campaign page, a woman who identified herself as Ralph’s aunt described the teenager as a “fantastic kid” who had dreams of doing to Texas A&M University to major in chemical Engineering.
“At school, he is a member of the Technology Student Association and Science Olympia Team. Jazz and competition band. He is a section leader in the marching band; a scholar and one of the top base clarinet players in Missouri. He recently earned Missouri All-State Band recognition with an honorable mention. He plays multiple instruments in the metropolitan youth orchestra. He is a 2022 Missouri scholar academy alumni. Ralph can often be found with a musical instrument. He loves them all,” the page reads.
“Last summer, Ralph attended Missouri Scholar’s Academy, where he got a full college life experience. His goal is to attend Texas A&M to major in chemical Engineering.
“When asked how he plans to get into this university, he said, “Well, if they have a scholarship for music or academics, I know I can get it.” Ralph’s teacher and friends describe him as “ a kind soul,” “quiet,” “friendly,” “well-mannered,” “always willing to help,” “super smart,” and a “musical genius.” Ralph was looking forward to graduating high school and finally getting the opportunity to visit West Africa before starting college.
“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.
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