▶ Watch Video: Black teen was shot above left eye and in arm after going to wrong door, mom says
Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who was shot after he went to the wrong house while trying to pick up his siblings last week, is replaying the situation over and over as he recovers, his mother told “CBS Mornings.”
Cleo Nagbe said Tuesday her son sustained gunshot wounds to his upper right arm and left frontal lobe above his left eye. She said the bullet in his head was not removed for up to 12 hours, and that the “residual effect” of that injury is going to stay with her son “for quite a while.”
Yarl is able to communicate “when he feels like it,” she said, but “mostly he just sits there and stares and the buckets of tears just rolls down his eyes.”
“You can see that he is just replaying the situation over and over again. And that just doesn’t stop my tears either, because when you see your kid just sits there and constantly he just— tears are just rolling from both sides of his eyes, there’s nothing you can say to him,” Nagbe said.
She said that as Yarl recovers at home he is “surrounded by a team of medical professionals” including herself, a nurse of almost 20 years, and his aunt and uncle.
Nagbe detailed what happened the night her son was shot in Kansas City, saying his brothers were supposed to go to a sleepover but that she was hesitant to left them stay over, so instead instructed the boys to come home by 10 p.m. When it was close to that time, she asked Yarl to pick them up. He left without his phone and went to the wrong address.
“He went and rang the doorbell. And he was supposed to stay outside, and his brothers were supposed to run outside, get in the car and they come home,” Nagbe said. “While he was standing there, his brothers didn’t run outside, but he got a couple of bullets in his body instead of a couple of twins coming up, out, and giving him a hug.”
The White homeowner accused of shooting Yarl, 84-year-old Andrew D. Lester, has been charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action.
Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson said at a press conference Monday “there was a racial component to the case,” though he did not elaborate.
Lee Merritt, who represents Ralph Yarl and his family, told “CBS Mornings” they want to know more about Lester and his mindset, and that his age will be a consideration in terms of what he thought leading into the shooting.
Merritt also said he will speak with Thompson later Tuesday. While he and Yarl’s family are pleased with the two felony charges, they are unclear as to why attempted murder wasn’t a charge and plan to speak with federal prosecutors and investigators to determine if the family’s civil rights were violated, specifically in terms of due process.
“We expect all families who are met with this type of trauma to get an immediate police response and a vigorous prosecution. That’s not what this family was given before there was national outcry,” said Merritt.