Tuesday 18 April 2023

85-Year-Old Kansas City Homeowner Faces Felony Charges For Shooting Black Teen After he Rang Doorbell


Mug shot of Andrew Lester taken last Thurs when he was in temporary police custody

Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson on Monday charged 85-year-old Andrew Lester with two felonies for shooting a black teen last week.

According to police, Andrew Lester, a white Kansas City, MO homeowner shot a black teen last Thursday after the 16-year-old rang the doorbell to the wrong home.

16-year-old Ralph Paul Yarl was shot in the head by Lester after the teen rang the wrong doorbell while picking up his siblings, according to lawyers. 

Ralph Yarl

Ralph Paul Yarl survived and is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

Andrew Lester was initially released from custody after being held for 24 hours while police investigated the shooting.

An arrest warrant was issued for Lester, who is not currently in police custody.

Prosecutor Zachary Thompson claimed, without providing any details, that there was a ‘racial component’ to the shooting.

“A small sign right above the doorbell Yarl rang reads, “No Solicitors,” and another sign by the side fence states: “This property is protected by surveillance cameras.”” The New York Post reported.

Thompson said no words were exchanged before Lester shot Ralph Yarl in the head and in the arm.

Lester is facing up to life in prison.

NBC News reported:

The Missouri man who shot a teenager who rang the wrong doorbell while trying to pick up his younger brothers was charged Monday with two felony counts, officials said.

An 85-year-old white man, Andrew Lester, has been charged with two crimes in the April 13 shooting of Ralph Yarl, 16, who is Black: assault in the first degree and armed criminal action, Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said Monday.

Thompson said there was a racial component to the shooting but declined to elaborate. Lester faces a maximum punishment of life in prison in the assault charge and three to 15 years for the alleged gun crime, Thompson said.

Thompson said no words were exchanged before Lester allegedly opened fire with a .32 revolver, striking Yarl twice — once in the head and once in the arm. Yarl had not entered the home when Lester allegedly shot him through a glass door, Thompson said.

Speaking to NBC News’ Tom Llamas, family attorney Lee Merritt said he was unaware Lester would be charged but said Yarl’s relatives were relieved.

“We need him to be prepared to face full accountability for his actions,” Merritt added.

Merritt said earlier that Yarl’s mother asked him to pick up his 11-year-old twin brothers Thursday. He went to a home in the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street instead of Northeast 115th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri, police said.

Watch Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson’s press conference on this case here:

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