Gabby Giffords Denounces Shooting of Teen at Wrong Address

April 17, 2023

Former Congresswoman and mass shooting survivor Gabby Giffords on Monday denounced the shooting of a Kansas City, Missouri teenager who’d gone to the wrong address.

“As someone who is still recovering from a gunshot to the head, I am heartbroken and infuriated that Ralph Yarl now faces a lifetime of recovery. At 16 years old. For simply ringing a doorbell,” Giffords tweeted, adding, “We cannot continue to be a nation defined by gun violence and injustice.”

Yarl was hospitalized Thursday night after he was shot while trying to pick up his younger brothers from a friend’s house. Police say he’d gone to the wrong address—confusing 115th Terrace and 115th Street—when he was shot.

Police are preparing evidence quickly for prosecutors, according to Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves.

Authorities have not confirmed the number of times the homeowner shot Yarl or details of his injuries, other than to say the 16-year-old is in stable condition but has a life-threatening injury. 

Nor have police identified the shooter or his race, though civil rights attorney Ben Crump told The Kansas City Star that the shooter appears to be white.

According to Yarl’s aunt, a man at the address he’d gone to opened the door, saw Yarl and shot him in the head. When Yarl fell to the ground, the man shot him again.

Graves said Sunday that the homeowner was taken into custody Thursday and placed on a 24-hour hold. Detectives found the firearm used while searching the scene. Law enforcement released the suspect pending further investigation after consulting with the Clay County prosecutor’s office.

Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson said his office was “actively working with law enforcement” to speed up the criminal referral process in the case.

Giffords suffered a brain injury when she was shot and wounded in 2011 during a meet-and-greet with her Congressional constituents at a Tucson, Arizona supermarket parking lot. She was one of 13 people wounded by the gunman. Six others were killed, including a 9-year-old girl.

PHOTO: Ralph Yarl on Instagram

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