UNITED STATES NEWS

Common mistakes, uncommon reactions in 3 separate shootings

Apr 19, 2023, 10:18 AM

In the span of six days, four young people across the U.S. have been shot — one fatally — for making one of the most ordinary and unavoidable mistakes in everyday life: showing up at the wrong place.

A man shot and wounded two cheerleaders outside a Texas supermarket early Tuesday after one of them said she mistakenly got into his car thinking it was her own.

A group looking for a friend’s house in upstate New York arrived in the wrong driveway only for one of them to be shot to death Saturday night, authorities said.

In Missouri last Thursday, a Kansas City teen was shot twice after going to the wrong home to pick up his younger brothers, raising questions about the state’s “stand your ground law” and heightening racial tensions.

Below is a brief glance of each shooting and the ensuing criminal investigations in Missouri, New York and Texas.

THE SHOOTING IN KANSAS CITY

Honors student Ralph Yarl, 16, mixed up the address when he went to pick up his twin brothers on Thursday night. Instead of going to 115th Terrace, he showed up at the home of Andrew Lester, 84.

Lester, who is white, told police he had just gotten in bed when he heard the doorbell. Before answering, he grabbed his revolver. Lester said he then saw Yarl, who is Black, pulling on the storm door handle, something Yarl disputes, according to the probable cause statement.

Lester told police he thought the teen was attempting to break into the home and he was “scared to death,” the statement said. Without saying a word, Lester fired twice.

Yarl said the first shot struck him in the head, knocking him to the ground. As he lay there, the second bullet pierced his arm. Yarl told police he fled as the homeowner yelled, “Don’t come around here,” the statement said.

Lester was charged with first-degree assault Monday and turned himself in Tuesday.

Some civil rights leaders have called for a hate crime charge, but Zachary Thompson, Clay County prosecuting attorney, said first-degree assault is a higher-level crime with a longer sentence — up to life in prison.

The wounded teen is recovering at home, but his mother, Cleo Nagbe, said the trauma is evident. She told “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King that her son mostly “just sits there and stares and the buckets of tears just rolls down his eyes.”

Legal experts believe Lester’s lawyers allows for the use of deadly force if a person fears for his or her life. Missouri is one of roughly 30 states with such statutes.

St. Louis defense attorney Nina McDonnell said prosecutors have a strong case but the “stand your ground” defense is a “huge hurdle” to overcome.

But Ari Freilich, an attorney and state policy director with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said nothing in the law “allows someone to shoot first and ask questions later when someone innocently rings a doorbell.”

THE SHOOTING IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

Kaylin Gillis, 20, was traveling through the rural town of Hebron with three other people Saturday night when the group turned onto a property that was not the friend’s house they were looking for, authorities said. They were met with gunfire in the driveway.

The group was trying to turn the car around when the homeowner, Kevin Monahan, 65, came out onto his porch and fired two shots, according to Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy.

One round hit Gillis.

They drove to the neighboring town of Salem, near the Vermont state line, and called 911, said Murphy, who noted the area has limited cell phone service.

Monahan was booked into the Warren County jail on a charge of second-degree murder. It wasn’t clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Murphy said at a news conference Monday that there was ”no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened.”

New York doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law.

THE SHOOTING IN TEXAS

A man shot and wounded two cheerleaders in a supermarket parking lot after one of them said she mistakenly got into his car thinking it was her own.

The shooting in Elgin, east of Austin, happened early Tuesday in an area that serves as a carpool pickup spot for members of the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company, team owner Lynne Shearer said.

Heather Roth said she got out of her friend’s car and into a vehicle she thought was hers, but there was a stranger in the passenger seat, KTRK-TV reported. She said she panicked and got back into her friend’s car, but the man got out of his vehicle and approached. She said she tried to apologize through her friend’s car window, but the man threw up his hands, pulled out a gun and opened fire.

Roth was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene, police said. Her teammate Payton Washington, 18, was shot in the leg and back. Washington was flown to a hospital in critical condition.

Police arrested a suspect, 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., who is charged with engaging in deadly conduct, a third-degree felony. Online court records do not list an attorney for him.

United States News

Associated Press

New Hampshire’s limits on teaching on race and gender are unconstitutional, judge says

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A federal judge has struck down New Hampshire’s nearly 3-year-old law limiting what teachers can say about race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other topics in public schools as unconstitutionally vague. The ruling could revive the topic as an election year campaign issue. Republicans pitched the 2021 law as an anti-discrimination […]

9 minutes ago

Associated Press

Vermont’s Republican governor allows ghost gun bill to become law without his signature

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has allowed a bill to become law that requires serial numbers on firearms that are privately made with individual parts, kits or 3D printers. Scott allowed the bill, part of an effort to crack down on hard-to-trace ghost guns that are increasingly showing up in crimes, to become law […]

35 minutes ago

Associated Press

2 new giant pandas are returning to Washington’s National Zoo from China by the end of the year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two giant pandas are coming to Washington’s National Zoo from China by the end of the year. The zoo made the announcement Wednesday, about half a year after it sent its three pandas back to China. The number of pandas in American zoos has steadily dwindled as loan agreements lapsed during diplomatic […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $17.1 billion in all-stock deal, plus $5.4 billion in debt

ConocoPhillips is buying Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal valued at approximately $17.1 billion. The deal is valued at $22.5 billion when including $5.4 billion in debt. Crude prices have jumped more than 12% this year and the cost for a barrel rose above $80 this week. As part of the transaction, Marathon Oil shareholders […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street points toward losses as markets digest earnings, dealmaking

Wall Street was poised to open with losses on Wednesday as some major dealmaking and a handful of earnings reports fill the news void until Friday’s latest inflation report. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each tumbled 0.6% before the bell. ConocoPhillips said that it is buying Marathon Oil in […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Weather-weary Texas battered again as powerful storm, strong winds kill 1, cause widespread damage

HOUSTON (AP) — Power outages remained widespread Wednesday in storm-weary Texas a day after another burst of severe weather flooded streets, uprooted trees and ripped off roofs. Authorities said a teenager was killed at a construction site while working on a home that collapsed. The severe weather Tuesday, which at one point left more than […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Common mistakes, uncommon reactions in 3 separate shootings