Ralph Yarl released from hospital and recovering at home in Kansas City, father says

The father of a 16-year-old Kansas City student who was shot Thursday in the Northland said his son, Ralph Yarl, is home from the hospital.

Paul Yarl on Monday morning told The Star that Ralph, a junior at Staley High School, was released from the hospital on Sunday.

He is now back home with his mother, a nurse, who is taking off time from work to care for her son, Yarl said.

“He continues to improve. He’s responsive and he’s making good progress,” Yarl said.

Ralph spent three nights in the hospital after he was shot after going to the wrong home to pick up his younger brothers, who are twins, family said.

Kansas City police said the homeowner who allegedly shot Ralph was taken into custody Thursday, placed on a 24-hour hold and then released, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said Sunday.

‘How do you protect a Black kid?’ Protesters demand justice in shooting of Ralph Yarl, 16

Ralph’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, started a GoFundMe on Sunday to raise money for Ralph’s medical bills and other expenses. As of Monday, more than $1.2 million had been raised.

“Even though he is doing well physically, he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally,” she wrote on the online fundraiser before joining Sunday’s protest.

Ralph was asked by a parent to pick up his brothers from an address on 115th Terrace, according to the family and a statement from the Kansas City Police Department. Instead he went to a residence in the 1100 block of 115th Street.

Family said a man at the house opened the door, saw Ralph and shot him in the head. When Ralph fell to the ground, family said the man shot him again.

Ralph got up and ran from the property, but he had to ask at three different homes before someone helped him, family added. Kansas City police officers said they responded to the area around 10 p.m.

The homeowner who allegedly shot Ralph was brought in for questioning and then released, Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves said Sunday. Missouri law allows a person to be held up to 24 hours for a felony investigation. At that point, the person must be released or arrested and formally charged, the chief said.

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing as authorities gather other information, including a formal victim statement and forensic evidence, Graves said.

The Clay County prosecutor on Monday morning said he is awaiting a criminal referral from the police department before deciding whether or not to charge the homeowner.

The family is being represented by civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Lee Merritt.

Who is Ralph Yarl?

Meara Mitchell, a long-time teacher of Ralph’s described him as a “stellar human-being” with a “quiet fortitude.”

Of her many students, Ralph’s work ethic and love and kindness for others makes him stand out. He’s dutiful to his family, she said, and he impressed her every day in his academics and his interactions with his peers.

“He is the utmost example of how you want a young man to carry himself in this world,” she told The Star.

Nicole Bryan, 17, one of Ralph’s classmates and friends, said Ralph has talked about studying chemical engineering in college. He’s a whiz at science and math, but his passion is music, she said.

Those close to Ralph say he’s won numerous awards for his academics and his musical abilities, including recognition by Missouri’s All-State Band.

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