- CBS News – Kansas City police probe shooting of Black teen who went to wrong house to pick up his younger brothers
- Union Times – Saratoga County woman killed after turning into wrong driveway
I was hoping to get a better understanding of what happened in both of these shootings. Some are saying that the black teenager Ralph Yarl was a racial shooting, yet I have not seen anything that actually leads me to believe that or not. In the case of the shooting of Kaylin Gills, race does not seem to be a possible issue at all. The only thing I can see for sure is two men that shot innocent people with no justification.
In the shooting of Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old black teenage male was shot while attempting to pick up his younger siblings. He mistakenly went to the wrong address and was shot by 86-year-old Andrew Lester. Yarl went to the door and rang the doorbell and per Lester’s statement, possibly went to pull open an external door handle. Lester then stated that he believed he was having his house broken into and shot Yarl twice, once in the head and once in the arm while Yarl was on the ground with a 32-caliber pistol.
Was Lester just a scared old man that saw a black teenager at his door and shot Yarl? Did he do this because he truly just thought someone was trying to break in? Really, I can’t tell you if race had anything to do with this case. It may or may not be an issue. What I can tell you is that I don’t believe the shooting was justified. Lester’s reason for the shooting was that Yarl grabbed and pulled on the external door handle after ringing the doorbell. While it is true that some criminals do this to first see if someone is home and then to enter if no one answers, it is also very normal for a non-criminal to do also. I have done the same thing because I wasn’t sure if the doorbell worked or not.
In this case, I am sure they will use Stand Your Ground as a defense, but I don’t really see how. Yarl was not attempting to go through the door when Lester opened it. Lester from what I understand also stated he opened the door and shot Yarl directly in the head. He then shot Yarl once more while on the ground. My understanding of that law is that you must feel your life is threatened, which can be argued, but other steps could have happened to prevent the shooting.
What I find just as bad in this case, was the fact this teenage boy had to go to three houses before someone would help him. I don’t know if this is a predominantly white neighborhood or not, but that really should matter. Yes, I know that bad areas of many large cities could invite some major issues, but this sounded like a nice neighbor. So, why wouldn’t these people help this young man?
In the second case, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis and her friends mistakenly turned into the wrong driveway when Kevin D. Monahan, a 65-year-old man fired two shots from his front porch into their car. One of these shots hit Gillis. Without a cell signal, her friends drove six miles to the neighboring town of Salem to call 911. Sadly, unlike Yarl in the other story, Gillis passed away while EMS performed CPR on her.
According to the news story linked, someone at the residence made a 911 call reporting the shots being fired. Upon law enforcement’s arrival, Monahan refused to emerge from the house. It took around an hour while he spoke with the 911 dispatcher before he would allow the officers to take him into custody.
As of the writing of this post, there has been no further information that I have been able to obtain. The only thing that is noted is that there appeared to be no alcohol or mental illness that played a role in the shooting.
Once again, I am sure that the Stand Your Ground defense will be used. However, I see less of a likelihood that this stance will be found justified than the case of Yarl’s case. These women had not even left the car when Monahan fired his shots across his porch and into the car.
As a pro-2A gun owner, I only feel these two cases are going to be used to change laws and restrict gun ownership even more than before. They will use these two men as a way to justify creating more laws that remove the rights of honest gun owners who obey and handle gun ownership properly. They will use emotions to move these laws into place while the public is shaken by the tragic situations.
They do this for only tragic situations surrounding firearms and not other means of death. Take drunk driving crashes, when have you seen a push to add devices to all cars that check blood alcohol levels before a car starts? Yet, more families lose loved ones from DUI crashes than firearms do.
I do pray that Ralph Yarl makes a full recovery. I also pray for the family and friends of Kaylin Gillis in this time of loss. For both families, I pray that justice will prevail.