Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Image Press Agency/Everett Collection Inc
Celebrities are using their platforms to call for the arrest of the man who shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in the head after he accidentally rang on the wrong doorbell.
Ralph Yarl, a black teenager, had been sent to collect his siblings from a home on 13 April, but went to the wrong address by mistake.
After ringing the doorbell twice, Yarl was shot by the homeowner.
The teenager, who has been described as a 'fantastic kid' and talented musician by friends and family, is now in stable condition in hospital after the life-threatening injury, police have confirmed.
The homeowner accused of shooting Ralph was in custody for 24 hours before being released. Credit: Facebook
Although the homeowner was initially taken into custody for 24 hours, they were subsequently released.
That's because, in the state of Missouri, anyone who is taken into custody for investigation must be either released or charged within 24 hours.
To be charged, authorities need a formal victim statement and forensic evidence. But, because of Yarl's injuries, police haven't yet been able to obtain a victim statement.
Naturally, the incident - particularly the suspect's freedom to walk - has caused uproar.
Protests have been launched across Kansas City, calling for justice for Ralph Yarl, and campaigns to have the unnamed suspect arrested have taken off online.
Celebrities like Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Viola Davis, and Jennifer Hudson have been spreading the word on their own social media platforms, calling on their fans to contact prosecutor Zachary Thompson and demand an 'immediate arrest'.
16-year-old Ralph is in stable condition in hospital. Credit: Facebook/GoFundMe
In a post to her Instagram Story, Jennifer Aniston shared a series of photos of Ralph Yarl, detailing the devastating story anyone who wasn't up to date.
She then wrote: "Use the contact information below to demand Prosecutor Zachary Thompson make an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges."
Meanwhile, Halle Berry posted a thread to Twitter, sharing the news of Yarl's situation with her fans.
She then urged: "Please do something today! Join me and please contact prosecutor Zachary Thompson and demand an immediate arrest and bring the appropriate charges."
Thanking Halle for spreading the word, a man who claims to have been Yarl's 3rd grade teacher replied: "@hallebarry #RalphYarl is precious. He was my 3rd grade student about 8 years ago.
"Sweet, kind, very bright, hard-working and friend to all. Thank you for sharing Praying for him!"
A GoFundMe page raising money for Yarl's medical bills, which is believed to have been set up by his aunt Faith Spoonmore, described the incident.
Celebrities are calling on the suspect to be arrested immediately. Credit: Facebook
"My nephew fell to the ground, and the man shot him again. Ralph was then able to get up and run to the neighbour's house, looking for help.
"Unfortunately, he had to run to 3 different homes before someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up."
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has previously represented clients like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin, will represent the Yarl family.
Criticising law enforcement for releasing the unnamed suspect, Crump said in a statement: "You can't just shoot people without having justification when somebody comes knocking on your door - and knocking on your door is not justification. This guy should be charged."