Distraught Neighbor Recounts Helping Ralph Yarl After Teen Was Shot: ‘That’s Somebody’s Son’

Jodi Rae, who helped stop the bleeding from 16-year-old Ralph Yarl’s gunshot wound, tearfully recounted the traumatic experience on Thursday.

via NYDN:

Rae, along with another neighbor, may well be to thank for keeping Yarl alive as blood poured from his head while they waited for help. Yarl had been shot by Andrew Lester, 84, for mistakenly knocking on the octogenarian’s door, thinking it was a different address.

Lester has since pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Rae said she’d been in her pajamas and watching television when someone started banging on the door and jiggling the knob, crying for help. “It startled me. I got scared,” she told TMZ. “The pounding on the door and the jiggling.”

She said her door’s window was too high for her to see what was happening on the other side. “He just kept hitting the door,” she said. “I could not see what was outside of my door.”

She then called 911 and the dispatcher told her to hang tight. “I regret that. Knowing now,” she said. “We were all thinking it was an active shooter.”

Rae broke down describing the wrenching dilemma she and other neighbors faced when they called 911 and were informed there was an active shooter. Even though Yarl was banging on her door, dispatchers continued telling her and other callers to lock down.

As the banging got more insistent, then stopped, Rae looked outside.

“I went into the window and he was standing out on the street facing away from my house,” Rae said. She told the dispatcher what she saw, and was told to continue staying inside because they didn’t know where the shooter was. She then saw Yarl sink to his knees, and knew she had to do something.

“I went downstairs, I said to my son, ‘Something is just not right about this,’” she told TMZ. “I said, ‘Screw this.’ There was blood everywhere.”

She then went outside to help the teen. A neighbor joined her, and her son fetched bath towels, putting pressure on his head wound. She and the neighbor asked Yarl about his life, about school and his activities, and kept him talking until medics arrived and whisked him to the hospital.

“That’s somebody’s son,” she said she kept thinking. “Somebody’s child’s blood on my door.”

Rae, clearly traumatized, said vitriol had been aimed at neighbors by people who thought no one had tried to help Yarl. At the same time, she put it into perspective.

“Nothing compares to what that young man is living through every day,” the distraught Rae said, hardly able to get the words out.

It’s easy to imagine what she could’ve done differently in that situation, but we commend her for doing the best she could with the information available at the time.

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