Impact of Ralph Yarl shooting hits close to home for Bay Area teen

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Impact of Ralph Yarl shooting hits close to home for Bay Area teen
Bay Area artist Tyler Gordon says he felt compelled to draw Ralph Yarl, a Kansas City teen who was shot after knocking on the door of the wrong home.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Since he was 10-years-old, Tyler Gordon of San Jose has shared his talent of painting prominent faces. On Sunday, he painted 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.

In a video posted online of him painting, Gordon spoke about how Yarl was shot twice after knocking on the door of the wrong home.

"Honestly I was sad myself because what if that was me in the situation? And my mom got that phone call so just the impacts that would have on my family and friends that's something I couldn't handle," Gordon said.

Gordon, who is 16 himself, says he felt compelled to create Yarl's portrait and crown him as a king.

"I wanted to let the world know that these things have to stop," Gordon said.

RELATED: Man charged in shooting of Black teen at his front door

A white man who shot a Black teen at his front door in Kansas City, Missouri, last week has been charged.

Yarl's story has sparked protests, and outrage nationwide

Dr. Michael Stanton is a psychologist and assistant professor of Public Health at CSU East Bay.

"We're in a place where we've just heard so many of these stories it feels like almost every week we hear about gun violence so it tends to really get you down," Dr. Stanton said.

MORE: New York woman driven to wrong address fatally shot by homeowner

Dr. Stanton said the impact of this story can be sad and disheartening, but change is possible.

Dr. Stanton said violence against Black men is a big problem in our country and that gun violence is a public health issue.

"Things like banning assault weapons, which the United States population supports by huge majority, as well as a high magazine ammunition and background checks for gun licenses. Those are things that the U.S public supports fully so I really hope we do give that a second thought. As I said, it almost feels like a gun violence episode every week and we really need to think as a society of the role of guns in our lives and what we want that to be," Dr. Stanton said.

TAKE ACTION: Local resources for survivors and victims of gun violence

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