"Even though he is doing well physically, he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally," the fundraiser reads.
Trigger Warning: The following content contains mentions of gun violence, violence against a child, and racist violence, which may be distressing to some readers.
A homeowner in Kansas City, Missouri, who shot a teenager in the head after he went to the incorrect house to pick up his brothers, has been charged with two counts of felony and a warrant is reportedly out for his arrest. Andrew Lester, 85 has been charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action in the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, according to Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson, per PEOPLE.
According to Kansas City Police, when officers arrived at the scene of a reported shooting on the evening of April 13 they discovered a youngster who had been shot by a homeowner outside of a house. The adolescent was brought to a nearby hospital. Yarl was released from the hospital on Monday, April 17, according to his attorney Ben Crump, per CNN.
The incident has outraged many, especially as after he was shot, he had to run to three different homes before someone reached out to assist him, and that too, only if he laid down with his hands in the air, Ralph's uncle said.
His name is #RalphYarl and I’m sick and tired of this feeling…my heart completely broke when I learned this precious 16-year-old, who accidentally rang the door of the wrong address in an attempt to pick up his siblings, was shot in the head… (1/3) pic.twitter.com/4VaZo7EFVE— Halle Berry (@halleberry) April 17, 2023
The teen has been identified as 16-year-old high school junior, Ralph Yarl, according to a joint statement from civil rights lawyers S. Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, who have been hired by the victim and his family to represent them in this horrific incident. “We demand swift action from Clay County prosecutors and law enforcement to identify, arrest and prosecute to the full extent of the law the man responsible for this horrendous and unjustifiable shooting,” the statement from the victim’s attorneys read.
I'm struggling to believe the person who did this to Ralph Yarl, 16, has been released by police.— Lorraine King (@lorrainemking) April 17, 2023
After he was shot Ralph's uncle said he had to run to 3 different homes before someone helped him & only if he laid down with his hands in the air. Jesus wepthttps://t.co/Ta5SeXLM5P pic.twitter.com/Qbxfp0W2gy
The incident sparked a demonstration in Kansas City on Sunday, April 16, with hundreds assembling outside the house where Yarl was shot, per KMBC. “We are praying for healing for Ralph,” one of the organizers said. “We want to open the eyes of Kansas City to this injustice.” Protesters marched while yelling "justice for Ralph" and "Black lives matter," and holding posters that said, "Ringing a doorbell is not a crime," and "The shooter should do the time."
“This right here is a lot of love,” Faith Spoonmore, Yarl’s aunt, said. “Ralph will feel a lot of love because this is a lot of people. This is amazing."
#RalphYarl. My goodness…let’s be for justice, which is a continuum. That means the man who did this should be charged AND we need to work for the legislative and heart change to prevent these tragedies.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 17, 2023
Use the contact info below… https://t.co/MSsdbCFKvy pic.twitter.com/sBVMrEM0XK
Spoonmore also established a GoFundMe to assist the family in raising money for medical costs. “Ralph Pual Yarl is a fantastic kid, and I am not just saying this because he is my nephew. He truly is," his loving aunt wrote. Yarl had been looking forward to finishing high school, traveling to West Africa, and then entering college, where he plans to major in chemical engineering, Spoonmore wrote in the GoFundMe. The teen is a marching band section leader and is frequently seen holding a musical instrument, Spoonmore shared. Yarl most recently received Missouri All-State Band honorable mention for playing the bass clarinet.
“Life looks a lot different right now. Even though he is doing well physically, he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally. The trauma that he has to endure and survive is unimaginable,” the GoFundMe post reads.
Missouri @MomsDemand volunteers joined a protest today to support Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old who was shot twice by a white man in Kansas City after he rang the doorbell of the wrong home. The shooter has not been charged.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) April 17, 2023
Here’s the family’s GoFundMe: https://t.co/ky8SvAFIuR pic.twitter.com/BssyMun3Bu
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe