A group of pistol-packing teens and a 12-year-old girl are facing murder charges after they allegedly robbed and shot to death a rising country music star in Nashville, police said.
The accused killers accosted 24-year-old Kyle Yorlets behind his home and opened fire when he refused to give them his car keys, they said. The suspects were identified as Diamond Lewis, 15; Roniyah McKnight, 14; Decorrius Wright, 16; as well as the 12-year-old and a 13-year-old boy whose names were withheld because of their ages.
Prosecutors plan to charge them as adults, the Nashville Tennessean reported. Police said the victim had been a random target. “He’s an absolute, absolute innocent victim,” police spokesman Don Arron said. He added, “none of the five individuals [arrested] are strangers to the system or this police department.”
Cops had been out searching for the 12-year-old, who had run away from home, since Thursday morning, the newspaper said. They soon discovered Snapchat posts showing the girl in a car “with other young people with guns,” the newspaper said. The killers had stolen a pickup truck in Oak Grove, Kentucky, drove off and by chance ended up in an alley behind Yorlet’s house, cops said.
They saw him outside and took his wallet. But he refused to give up his car keys. So one of the heartless killers opened fire. The mortally injured musician made his way into his house, where he was found by a roommate about an hour later. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The killers were captured at a Nashville Walmart, where cops also found one of them carrying a stolen loaded pistol. The young killers were well armed — they had been stealing guns from vehicles for months, cops said.
Yorlets’ fellow musicians in the band “Calverton” said in a statement that they’re “heartbroken.” “We will never forget Kyle, and though he is gone too soon, his legacy is here to stay,” they said. Samantha Harrison, who worked at a restaurant where Yorlets tended bar, described the victim as someone who “made work not seem like work when he was around.”
A former college roommate of Yorlets, Alec Koukol, described his friend as a “kind, friendly and charismatic soul …who was very passionate about music.” The victim had grown up in a family of dairy farmers.