Five children, ranging in age from 12 to 16, were charged on Thursday, February 7, in the shooting death of Nashville rock singer Kyle Yorlets, according to a press release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Three girls, ages 12, 14 and 15, and two boys, ages 13 and 16, were arrested at a local Walmart and charged with criminal homicide. Police said they recovered two loaded pistols, both of which had been reported stolen, when they apprehended the kids. The Hyundai Santa Fe that they used to travel to the store had also been reported stolen. As of Friday morning, the kids remain in a juvenile detention center.
Under Tennessee law, detectives were allowed to publicly identify three of the five children because they have been charged with homicide and are over age 13: Roniyah McKnight, 14, Diamond Lewis, 15, and Decorrius Wright, 16. The names of the 12 and 13-year-olds have not been released.
The press release stated that the five juveniles were in a stolen Chevrolet Colorado in an alley behind Yorlets’ home when they spotted him outside. Police said the kids interacted with the 24-year-old musician before taking his wallet and demanding that he hand over the keys to his vehicle. Investigators believe that Yorlets refused to surrender his keys, which prompted the fatal shooting. It is unclear which of the five children pulled the trigger.
An earlier press release from police said Yorlets was able to go back inside his home after being shot, and he was found by one of his housemates at approximately 3 p.m. The Belmont University graduate was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Yorlets’ band, Carverton, released a statement about his death via Twitter on Friday, February 8: “We lost our brother, best friend, and bandmate Kyle Yorlets. We are in a state of shock and are having to grasp the reality that is now in front of us. We are heartbroken. Our condolences for his family and loved ones and all the lives that he touched. We will never forget Kyle, and though he is gone too soon his legacy is here to stay. We thank you for your support and will talk to you soon.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to raise money for Yorlets’ family, who are dairy farmers in Pennsylvania, for airfare, lodging and other travel expenses as well as funeral arrangements.