Prosecutors have filed charges against the homeowner after the shooting of a 16-year-old black man who rang the wrong doorbell in Missouri. An arrest warrant had been issued against the man, a white man over 80 years old, prosecutor Zachary Thompson said at a press conference on Monday (local time). He was charged with aggravated assault, which in Missouri carries a sentence of life imprisonment if convicted. He was also charged with armed criminal activity.
The incident happened in Kansas City last Thursday. According to several US media, the 16-year-old wanted to pick up his siblings, but accidentally rang the wrong doorbell. The homeowner then shot the black youth. Prosecutor Thompson said two shots were fired. The boy was hit in the head and arm. There is a "racist component" to the incident. At the same time, he emphasized that the indictment documents did not state that the shots were racially motivated.
The suspect was initially taken into custody for 24 hours after the crime, but was then released. According to the Washington Post, he told police the shooting was the last thing he wanted to do, but he was terrified of the teen's size, his own age and his inability to defend himself. He thought he had to protect himself from a physical altercation. According to the information, he was visibly upset and had repeatedly expressed his concern for the victim.
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US Vice President Kamala Harris expressed her condolences to the 16-year-old and his family. "No child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell," she wrote on Twitter. According to US media reports, the teenager is recovering from the injury. The renewed case of gun violence in the United States sparked protests in Kansas City. According to CNN, hundreds of people took to the streets in the city bordering the state of Kansas.