Five minors — two boys and three girls — were charged with criminal homicide Friday in the death of Yorlets, which has shocked the local music community.
They range in age from 12 to 16. Police released booking photos and the names of three of those charged because they are older than 13. The Washington Post does not name suspects under the age of 18 unless a judge or magistrate has ordered that they be tried as adults.
Yorlets was the lead singer and songwriter for Carverton, a pop-punk band whose first album is scheduled for release next month.
“We are in a state of shock and are having to grasp the reality that is now in front of us. We are heartbroken,” the band said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Authorities are seeking to try the group as adults. The attorney for the youngest — a 12-year-old girl — said her client has cooperated and did not belong in an adult court, the Tennessean reported.
Assistant District Attorney Stacy Miller disagreed in a juvenile court hearing Friday.
“She didn’t run from there, and she didn’t call the police,” Miller said, according to the Tennessean. “She’s as guilty as they are.”
Police recovered two stolen, loaded pistols after tracking the juveniles to a Walmart. Their involvement in the case started Thursday, as they searched for the 12-year-old, who had run away from home, police spokesman Don Aaron said.
Investigators found Snapchat photos of the girl in a car with other young people and guns, Aaron said, according to the Tennessean.
Yorlets was one of four children raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. His mother, Deb Yorlets, told PennLive that Kyle began singing at a young age.
“He was extremely passionate about music. Everyone who met him was amazed and loved him,” she said. “It’s just so senseless what has happened.”
News of Yorlets’s death spread quickly in the tightknit music community in Nashville, said John Ferguson, the father of a bandmate. Many young musicians work in the food industry when they begin their pursuits, and owners there have reached out to provide food for family gatherings. A memorial service is planned for Monday, Ferguson told The Post on Saturday.
Carverton had released a single and a music video. Their debut album, “Chasing Sounds,” is scheduled for release in late March.
A single, “Try To,” will be played at the memorial service. It is an autobiographical song by Yorlets, said Ferguson, who started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Yorlets’s family.
The band was growing its local presence and was looking forward to the album’s release, he said.
“I told the band, ‘The album shows songwriting maturity,’ ” Ferguson said, thanks in large part to Yorlets.