Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: 7 People Shot, 1 Killed in 4 Separate Shootings Over Simple Mistakes

A string of four unrelated shootings made national news this week after seven people were shot and one killed for making innocent mistakes and essentially being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


A string of four unrelated shootings made national news this week after seven people were shot and one killed for making innocent mistakes and essentially being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Kansas City teenager Ralph Yarl mistook the home of Andrew Lester for a nearby residence with a similar address where he was supposed to pick up his younger siblings.
  • According to prosecutors, the 16-year-old Yarl did not exchange any words with the 84-year-old Lester before the man fired two shots through his glass door and struck Yarl in the head and the arm before reportedly telling Yarl, “Don’t come around here.”
  • Lester has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action and could face a maximum sentence of life in prison for shooting Yarl. The teenager is recovering at home after the violent attack.
  • In upstate New York, a homeowner fatally wounded Kaylin Gillis, a 20-year-old woman college student, after she accidentally turned into his driveway while looking for a friend’s home along a dark country road. Kevin Monahan, 65, opened fire on the vehicle as it was pulling out even after none of the occupants exited the vehicle or made any sort of a threat towards him.
  • Monahan was “uncooperative with the investigation and refused to exit his residence to speak with police” and has been charged with second-degree murder for the fatal shooting.
  • Northeast of Austin, Texas, two cheerleaders were shot at a carpool pickup at a grocery store after they mistakenly got into the wrong car. One girl, 18-year-old Payton Washington, was seriously injured and hospitalized. The other girl, Heather Roth, was treated at the scene.
  • Police charged Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, with “deadly conduct,” a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
  • And in Gastonia, North Carolina, a man is accused of shooting a six-year-old girl and her parents after a basketball rolled into his yard. The child, Kinsley White, was shot in the cheek and required stitches, and her mother Ashley Hilderbrand was grazed, but her father, William White, was critically injured and remains hospitalized in Charlotte.
  • Robert Singletary, 24, turned himself in to Florida authorities after a two-day manhunt and will be charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count for possession of a firearm by a felon.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times uncovered new details about the shooting of Kaylin Gillis, including that the police officers themselves turned down the wrong driveway when trying to respond to the shooting, an indicator of how difficult the area is to navigate. Acquaintances described the shooter as having a “righteous” attitude and having an “intimidating” manner.
  • The grandson of Lester, the elderly man who shot Yarl, spoke out against his grandfather in an interview with CNN. Klint Ludwig said his family “stands with Ralph Yarl” and said his grandfather was into “weird, random, racist things.”
  • NBC News argued the string of shootings “have deepened a gnawing sense that no place is truly safe — not even the front porch of an ordinary house on an ordinary street in suburban Kansas City.” To some observers, “the shootings point to a more fundamental sickness in American life: the toxic brew of paranoia, distrust and suspicion that poisons so many of our day-to-day interactions — and sometimes leads to bloodshed.”



  • Fox News noted Singletary, the North Carolina shooter, is expected to appear in court on Friday after shooting and wounding three people and shooting at a fourth person for the crime of a basketball accidentally rolling into his yard.
  • The ex-wife of Lester, the man who shot Yarl, said he was prone to violence and that his decision to shoot Yarl “doesn’t surprise her,” according to the New York Post. “I was always scared of him. It doesn’t surprise me what happened,” Mary Clayton said in an interview.
  • National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty characterized the White House decision to invite Yarl to the White House while legal proceedings are ongoing as using “crime as an extension of politics.” The Yarl invite “gives the sense of prejudging an ongoing case. This comes after weeks in which the White House seemed to suggest that transgender people were the real and primary victims of the Nashville shooting committed by a transgender person and targeting children and staff at a Christian school.

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© Dominic Moore, 2023