In a reasonable society, accidentally ringing the wrong doorbell, pulling into the wrong driveway, or getting into the wrong car would not result in being shot. However, in America—which is not a reasonable society, but rather one in which a large segment of the population cares about the supposed right to bear arms more than it cares about human beings—it’s happened three times since last Thursday.
On Tuesday, two cheerleaders were shot outside of Austin, Texas, after one of them reportedly got into the wrong car. According to KTRK, Heather Roth got out of a teammate’s car and opened the door to what she thought was her own car. Seeing a man sitting in the passenger seat, and apparently still thinking it was her car, she panicked, she said, and returned to her friend’s vehicle. Realizing her error and seeing the man approaching, Roth rolled down the window to apologize to him, she said—at which point he pulled out a gun and started shooting. “He just started shooting at all of us,” Roth said at a vigil, according to KTRK. The athlete reportedly “suffered a graze wound and was treated at the scene,” while fellow cheerleader Payton Washington “was struck twice in the leg and back and was flown to the hospital in critical condition.” (In an affidavit, a witness said they saw the shooter fire on the car multiple times before fleeing the scene; police have reportedly arrested Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr. and charged him with deadly conduct.)
The shooting followed the killing of Kaylin Gillis, who was shot in upstate New York on Saturday by a 65-year-old after her friend accidentally pulled into the wrong driveway. The group was reportedly turning around—and never even got out of the car—when Kevin Monahan allegedly fired at least two shots at the vehicle. Monahan was charged with murder on Monday.
Gillis’s murder came just two days after the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who was allegedly shot twice by Andrew Lester on Thursday after ringing the wrong doorbell while trying to pick up his younger brothers in Kansas City, Missouri. Yarl, who is Black, had accidentally gone to Northeast 115th Street instead of Northeast 115th Terrace, which is just one block away. According to prosecutor Zachary Thompson, Yarl did not “cross the threshold” into the home—nor was there any indication that “words were exchanged”—yet Lester allegedly shot him, in the forehead and right arm, through a glass door. Lester was not charged until Monday; he faces charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. After a warrant was issued for his arrest, he surrendered on Tuesday. That same day, Yarl’s classmates staged a walkout on his behalf:
Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, a longtime advocate for stricter gun laws, said America is turning into “a killing field” where “even simple wrong turns are becoming potentially deadly,” which would sound dramatic if not for the fact that it’s 100% true.