Metro Nashville police have arrested five runaway juveniles – three girls and two boys – in connection with Thursday’s shooting death of local musician Kyle Yorlets outside his home.
Cellphone pings led police to the five, found in a stolen Hyundai outside the Charlotte Pike Walmart in West Nashville. The vehicle had been stolen hours earlier from Brentwood.
When arrested, the suspects were in possession of a loaded 9mm pistol; another loaded pistol was found inside the store. Both weapons had been reported stolen during prior vehicle thefts.
Police charged 14-year-old Roniyah McKnight, 15-year-old Diamond Lewis, 16-year-old Decorrius Wright, a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, with homicide. Under Tennessee law, the older teens’ names were released because they are over 13 and are facing homicide charges. Prosecutors plan to charge the five suspects as adults.
In a Friday-afternoon hearing the 12-year-old’s attorney reportedly argued her case didn’t belong in adult court and pointed out her cooperation with police following her arrest. Assistant District Attorney Stacy Miller disagreed, saying the girl didn’t run and didn’t call the police. “She’s as guilty as they are,” Miller said.
Police say the five stole a Chevrolet pickup from Oak Grove, Kentucky, on Wednesday; they pulled up in the alley behind Yorlets’ home on Torbett Street around 2 p.m. Thursday, when they accosted and robbed the 24-year-old musician. They opened fire when he refused to give them his car keys.
After being shot, Yorlets managed to get back inside, where he was found by one of his housemates about an hour later. Yorlets was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died.
Police believe the killers ditched the stolen pickup on Timberland Drive, where it was later recovered. They drove another stolen vehicle to the Walmart, where they were apprehended.
Originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Yorlets was a 2017 graduate of Belmont University and had been a member of the Nashville-based band Carverton.
His bandmates posted this statement:
On February 7, 2019 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.
Yorlets, who came from a family of dairy farmers, also worked at Milk and Honey, a local eatery.