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Teen shot by homeowner helps raise awareness for brain injuries

Ralph Yarl didn't just watch the Going the Distance for Brain Injury Run from the sidelines, he completed the 1.5-mile walk.
Posted at 12:28 PM, May 30, 2023

The teenager who was shot in the head after going to the wrong house to pick up his younger siblings made a public appearance over the Memorial Day weekend. 

Ralph Yarl, 17, was among thousands of people who gathered at Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri, for the Going the Distance for Brain Injury Run.

The race, which is in its 36th year, raises money to support the nonprofit Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, also known as BIAKS. 

The organization offers resources to people living with brain injuries.

Before the race, Ralph's mother said her son's recovery process has been a journey.

"Brain injury is a process — it’s not an event. It takes time," Cleo Nagbe said. "There are emotional ups and downs. You have their concentration problems, you have their, 'I wanna stay in my room all day,' you have all of that. So it takes a community, it takes a family, it takes a support group — it takes all of that."

Ralph Yarl's father, Paul Yarl, appears in a television interview.

Ralph Yarl's father describes 'emotional roller coaster'

Ralph Yarl's father said after his son was shot after knocking on the wrong door, "I was angry. Who would want to harm Ralph?"


Ralph's progress has been tremendous considering he was shot in the head and arm after approaching an 84-year-old man's house in April.

He didn't just watch Monday's race from the sidelines, he completed the 1.5-mile walk. 

A Kansas City police officer who suffered a brain injury after being shot in the head in 2020 also took part in the walk. Tyler Moss offered advice to Ralph as he continues his recovery.

"He’s going to have to deal with some things that he’s going to be frustrated with and he’s going to just have to try to stay positive," Moss said. 

This story was originally published by Caitlin Knute and David Medina at Scripps News Kansas City.