A 16-year-old Athens male is facing an adult charge after law enforcement officials say he shot three juveniles following a fight.
Ky’Raun Yarbrough is charged with first-degree assault and being held in the Limestone County Jail with no bond, said Stephen Young, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
Deputies and investigators responded to the call of a shooting in the 15000 block of Brownsferry Road about 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Young said they found two gunshot victims and were told the Yarbrough had left in a vehicle after he shot the victims. A third victim had already been transported to the hospital in a personal vehicle.
Young said the investigation determined Yarbrough had been bullying several other juveniles earlier. One of the juveniles stood up to him, and the two got into a physical altercation. Yarbrough then left and got a handgun, and he drove to the residence on Brownsferry Road where the victims and other juveniles were gathered outside.
Yarbrough exited his vehicle and fired multiple rounds, striking the juvenile male from the previous altercation twice (once in the stomach and once in the leg), Young said. Rounds also struck a second juvenile male in the leg and grazed the shirt of a juvenile female.
The victim who was struck twice had been transported to Athens-Limestone Hospital in a personal vehicle when deputies arrived. He was then transported to Huntsville Hospital by ambulance for surgery. He is expected to recover, Young said.
The other two victims did not seek medical treatment, said Young. The investigation remains ongoing, and additional charges may be pending.
WAAY 31 spoke with the family of one of the teens who was shot after deputies say he stood up to a bully.
“My mind went to the darkest place. Fear," Dionne Lopez said. "For about 45 minutes, I didn’t know if he was dead, alive, where he had been shot, or anything else. Extreme panic."
Saturday night, Dionne Lopez got a phone call no mother ever wants to get. Her son, Bubba Lopez, had been shot.
“I think a part of me died, too, with that phone call," Bubba's sister, Keke Najera, added. "I can’t explain how I felt. It was the worst feeling in the world.”
Bubba’s mom and sister say they’re just glad to know he is going to be alright.
“God spared his life," Dionne Lopez said. "And I hope that this can be a wake-up call for him and his friends. The shooter in this was one of his best friends. At a time in their lives, they were best friends.”
Bubba wasn’t the only one shot. Another teen was hit in the leg and a bullet grazed a third victim’s shirt.
Deputies say it all stemmed from a bullying incident, after Bubba stood up for another teen and got into a fight with the suspected shooter, Ky’Ruan Yarbrough.
That’s when deputies say Yarbrough left and came back with a gun he then fired multiple times.
“I wish people would think before they react, honestly," Najera said.
“The gun violence has gotten out of hand with our youth, and I just want to ask everybody to pray for our kids," Dionne Lopez said. "Not just my son--all of them.”
As for the suspected shooter, Lopez says she'll be praying for him as well.
“Am I upset with him because of what he did to my son? Absolutely. But I don’t wish bad on him," she said.