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The family of Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who survived a gunshot to the head last year after ringing the wrong doorbell in Kansas City, Missouri, filed a lawsuit last week against the white homeowner who shot him. The lawsuit claims that Andrew Lester, 85, never gave Yarl, 17, a verbal warning before shooting. The suit also names Lester’s homeowners association as a defendant for failing to realize his “propensity for violence, access to dangerous weapons and racial animus.” [NBC]


When dozens of shots rang out at a park near Philadelphia Masjid, a mosque on the city’s west side, about 1,000 people had been gathered in celebration of the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. Three people were shot and one person was separately injured by a police officer. No one was killed. Two rival gangs were responsible, according to police, and four of the five arrested suspects were younger than 18.

These numbers, writes The Trace’s Afea Tucker, don’t relay the chaos of that day: people ducking and jumping behind trees; khimars and hijabs falling from women’s heads; children crying for their parents. It was the first time an Eid al-Fitr celebration at this park — a tradition for half a century — had been interrupted by violence.

Tucker, who used to live near the mosque and has loved ones nearby, was eager to know how her neighbors were coping. One relied on the power of her faith. Another spoke about how the tragedy could have been prevented. One woman reflected on the tree that saved her and her granddaughter’s lives. Two days after the shooting, at a Philly Masjid press conference, Tucker gathered their stories, and more, in her latest story for The Trace.

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What to Know Today

Six months after the deadliest mass shooting in Maine’s history, Just-In-Time Recreation — a bowling alley where eight of the 18 victims were killed — reopened its doors. Owner Justin Juray, who owns the establishment with his wife, Samantha, was initially adamant about keeping the alley closed. But that changed after Lewiston residents rallied behind the couple. [Associated Press]

A New York City police officer inside Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall fired his gun last week while breaking up pro-Palestinian student demonstrations. No one appears to have been hurt or intentionally shot at, and only police officers were in the immediate vicinity when the shooting occurred. The incident is now under review by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. [The City]

Georgia’s attorney general sent a letter to Savannah officials to notify them that their new ordinance, which makes it illegal to leave unsecured firearms in vehicles, conflicts with state law. According to this statute, no counties or municipalities in Georgia may regulate the possession, ownership, transport, or carrying of guns. [WJCL]

Following the passage of a Tennessee law allowing teachers to carry guns, Republican and Democratic members of the Knox County school board are in agreement: no armed teachers. Both sides have submitted their own versions of nonbinding resolutions outlining their positions, although they arrived there through different thinking. Ultimately, the decision lies with the local superintendent. [Knoxville News Sentinel]


Will Maine’s Permissive Gun Laws Change After the Lewiston Shooting?: The state has high rates of gun ownership, yet mass shootings were virtually unheard of — until now. (October 2023)