Good Samaritan found Ralph Yarl bloody, motionless

James Lynch said he hopped his fence, ran through a neighbor's yard, crossed the street and ran up another neighbor's driveway to get to Yarl, the 16-year-old shot twice last week in Kansas City.

Loading the player...

The good Samaritan who helped Ralph Yarl after a white homeowner shot him describes the moment he discovered the Black teen lying motionless on the ground.

James Lynch, 42, said he heard shouting outside Thursday night as he was getting ready for bed in the usually quiet Kansas City neighborhood. According to NBC News, he moved over to his kitchen window and noticed a young boy pounding on the door of a nearby house.

“I heard somebody screaming, ‘Help, help, I’ve been shot!'” Lynch recalled, NBC reported.

Ralph Yarl, the teenager shot by a homeowner in Kansas City, Missouri, is seen in an undated photo. The good Samaritan who stepped in to help Yarl recently described the moment he discovered the unconscious high schooler. (Photo: Ben Crump Law via AP)

The father of three said that to reach Yarl, he raced outdoors, hopped his fence, ran through a neighbor’s yard, crossed the street and ran up another neighbor’s driveway. Lynch initially assumed Yarl, then unconscious, was dead.

He said it appeared the star student had been shot in the head close to an eye socket, and blood covered his face and arms.

Lynch said he used his previous Eagle Scout training to check Yarl for a pulse on his wrist before the teen came to, and Lynch then tried to obtain information from him, such as his name, age and school.

The 16-year-old struggled to reply before spelling his name. Another neighbor arrived with towels to assist in stopping Yarl’s bleeding, and she and Lynch sat with the youth until paramedics showed up.

Regardless of their efforts, Lynch doesn’t see himself as a hero.

“I didn’t do anything but hold a kid’s hand so he wouldn’t feel alone,” Lynch said, according to NBC. “He had just gotten shot twice; he had a hole in the side of his head. That kid is tougher than I am.”

Yarl had gone to the incorrect street and house while attempting to pick up his 11-year-old twin brothers from their friend’s house. His family’s attorneys, Ben Crump and Lee Merritt, said a homeowner shot him twice after he rang the doorbell at the wrong house.

Authorities have arrested Andrew Lester, 85, on charges of armed criminal action and first-degree assault.

Yarl reportedly suffered a shot to his upper arm and head, leaving him with a critical, traumatic brain injury.

For some, the shooting triggered memories of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery, young Black males who were killed by people who later claimed they acted in self-defense.

Protesters responded to the shooting by marching through the Kansas City streets over the weekend, with some believing Yarl’s race played a factor in the situation.

“No one deserves to lay there like that,” Lynch said, NBC reported. “He hasn’t even begun to live his life yet. He didn’t deserve to get shot.”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!