Rally Held For Ralph Yarl, Black Teen That Was Shot After Going To Wrong House To Pick Up His Brother

Source: Chase Castor / Getty

Ralph Yarl’s story is one that is as heartbreaking as it is infuriating. For those who don’t remember, almost one year ago today, the then-16-year-old Yarl was going to pick up his younger brother from a neighbor’s house when he accidentally rang the doorbell of Andrew Lester. The 84-year-old alleges that he was terrified for his life and fired rounds, one of which went into Yarl’s head.

As you might imagine, an incident like that will change a person’s life physically, mentally, and socially. Recently, Yarl spoke publicly for the first time about how he has managed to cope with the trauma, anger, and sadness that has plagued him since that day.

Via NBCNews:

“It’s definitely a bumpy journey,” Yarl said in his first in-depth interview about how the shooting has affected him one year later. “Whenever there’s something that goes on that reminds me of what happened … I just have, like, such a negative wave of emotions, like anger, like disgust. It’s always a mix of good and bad days. And I feel like the good days are when I’m able to be around people that help me build myself up.”

Ralph’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, says her son is suffering from PTSD and believes that it having a severe effect on his life. So much so that over the past three months, Yarl has totaled two vehicles. In one of the accidents, he ran into a tree. She described his current mental health as “a constant uphill battle”.

Yarl says that he wants his shooting to serve a purpose and help combat the number of shootings that happen in America. Sadly, he admits that he feels guilt when he thinks about the protests, outrage, and national attention that he received following the shooting and how not much has changed, “It just feels like a failure on my part”.

We hope and pray that this young man can reclaim his life as his own without permanently being attached to his pain.