Hundreds of loved ones and fans are paying tribute to 24-year-old Nashville musician Kyle Yorlets (above), who was gunned down Thursday by five children in a robbery-gone-awry
Hundreds of fans have paid tribute to a 24-year-old musician gunned down behind his Nashville home in what is believed to have been a robbery-gone-awry.
Five underage suspects were arrested Friday and charged with criminal homicide for the murder of Kyle Yorlets, a graduate of Belmont University who worked as a bartender at a Nashville restaurant and sang in the pop-rock band Carverton.
Three of the five suspects arrested Friday in connection with Yorlets' murder were named by police as Roniyah McKnight, 14, Decorrius Wright, 16, and Diamond Lewis, 15.
The names of the two youngest suspects, a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, have been withheld because of their age
According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police, the five kids were in a stolen Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck in the alley that runs behind Yorlets' house in the 32000 block of Torbertt Street when they spotted him outside on Thursday afternoon.
The minors allegedly accosted the man, took his wallet and demanded the keys to his car, which he refused to hand over, prompting the suspects to open fire on him, police stated.
The mortally-wounded victim managed to make it inside his home, where he was found by one of his roommates at 3pm.
Three of the five suspects arrested Friday in connection with Yorlets' murder are pictured
Roniyah McKnight, 14
Decorrius Wright, 16
Diamond Lewis, 15. The names of the two youngest suspects, a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, have been withheld because of their age
Yorlets was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.
In the wake of his death, hundreds of loved ones and fans have paid tribute to the singer who's been praised as a 'rising star' taken far too soon.
Among the social media posts reacting to Yorlets' death was a photo from his sister Mackenzie Rio Yorlets, who shared a sweet snap of them together with the caption: 'Hug your loved ones a little closer today, you might lose them sooner than you thought.'
Samantha Harrison, a coworker at the restaurant where Yorlets was a bartender, wrote on Facebook on Friday: 'Yesterday my work family and I received horrible news about the loss of Kyle Yorlets. He was part of the Pastaria family, made everyone laugh and smile constantly.
'He was such a kind and forgiving person. He was talented, always had a great attitude and made work not seem like work when he was around. I knew him for a very small amount of time, but he made a huge impact on me. His kindness and energy will never be forgotten.'
Belmont President Bob Fisher sent a campus-wide email announcing that the university would be offering counseling to members of the community affected by Yorlets' death.
'I am shocked by this news and am devastated to hear of the loss of one of our community members,' Fisher wrote, according to The Tennessean.
'I mourn this loss alongside you as we try to make sense of such senseless violence.'
Yorlets' former roommate and fellow Belmont alum Alec Koukol described him as a 'kind, friendly and charismatic soul'.
'He was very, very passionate about music,' the 23-year-old told The Tennessean.
Yorlets' bandmates also released a statement addressing his death on Friday, saying: '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.'
Faith Gipson, Yorlets' girlfriend of three years, has not spoken publicly since his murder.
Yorlets' sister Mackenzie Rio Yorlets shared the photo above with the caption: 'Hug your loved ones a little closer today, you might lose them sooner than you thought'
A friend of Yorlets tweeted a photo of him performing along with a somber message
A GoFundMe campaign in Yorlets' honor had raised nearly $24,000 as of Saturday morning, just one day after it was set up.
The description on the page says: 'The world just lost a bright and rising star, and we lost a beloved brother.
'His family are dairy farmers in Pennsylvania, a life-giving vocation that requires constant care and attention.
'We can't even begin to imagine having to deal with the grief and pain of losing a son, and then having to handle the arrangements of travel, transport, and the hundreds of decisions and interactions required by something like this, all the while having to arrange for the upkeep of a farm that needs full hands-on work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
'We need your help. We are raising funds to help the Yorlets with what they need.'
According to the page, the funds are specifically intended to cover the costs of Kyle's funeral as well as other costs the family will incur through travel, hiring people to oversee the dairy farm in their absence, and 'any other expenses that may arise during this awful season of their life'.
Any money left over from funeral expenses will go toward scholarship opportunities in Yorlets' honor.Yorlets' Carverton bandmates released a statement on Friday expressing their grief
The comments section on the GoFundMe page has been flooded with hundreds of heartfelt messages.
One man who had met Yorlets several years ago wrote: 'Losing him feels like I lost one of my sons. I will miss his quirky humor and infectious wit. His love for all people that entered his world. May you sing in heaven and brighten the stars.'
Another who had been friends with the musician since they were kids said: 'He was the only friend who stuck around for that long. He always believed in what I did and supported me 100%, even though we didn't see each other much since He moved, we still talked almost everyday to each other. I miss him already.'
A stranger wrote: 'If the family needs any help with the farm during this time, I'm there.'
Another said: 'Never knew his full name until now, but he waited on us many times at Pastaria, always so kind and patient.
'I remember one time my son put all of his noodles in his milk, then spilled it all over the place. Kyle laughed and cleaned it up. Thoughts and blessing go out to his close friends and family.'
A press release from Nashville police identified three of the shooting suspects as Roniyah McKnight, 14, Diamond Lewis, 15, and Decorrius Wright, 16.
The names of the two youngest suspects, a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, have been withheld because of their age.
The district attorney will decide if the juveniles will be charged as adults.
In the hours after the shooting, officers recovered the stolen Chevy Colorado, which had been abandoned in the 1600 block of Timberland Drive.
Witnesses in the area reported seeing three juveniles get out of the vehicle. Two of them got into another car and drove off, while the third fled on foot.
Police said in the course of the investigation, they learned that the underage suspects had traveled to the West Nashville Walmart on Charlotte Pike, where all five baby-faced suspected killers were apprehended.
A loaded 9mm pistol, which had been reported stolen, was recovered from them. A second loaded, stolen pistol was recovered from inside the store.
The vehicle in which they traveled to the Walmart, a Hyundai Santa Fe, had been stolen from Brentwood.