An 85-year-old white man in Kansas City, Missouri, has been charged with shooting a Black teenager who rang his doorbell.
The teen was apparently shot for going to the wrong address to pick up his siblings.
Breaking News: An 85-year-old white man has been charged in the shooting of a Black teenager who had mistakenly gone to the wrong house in Kansas City, Missouri. https://t.co/ow5nBqeQHM
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 17, 2023
From the New York Times:
The man, Andrew D. Lester, was charged with assault in the first degree, a class-A felony, and could face up to life in prison if convicted, Zachary Thompson, the Clay County prosecuting attorney, said at a news conference on Monday evening.
Mr. Lester also was charged with armed criminal action, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, Mr. Thompson said.
The teenager, Ralph Yarl, 16, was hospitalized with two gunshot wounds, including one to the head, according to his family and their lawyers.
They said he had been sent to pick up his younger twin brothers at a friend’s house on Thursday evening but mistakenly went to the wrong house about a block away.
Lester was originally held for 24 hours by the police, then released as no formal charges had been filed. He was not in custody when the charges were announced today.
The prosecutor told the press it’s not clear if the teenager knocked on the door or rang the doorbell, but he did not “cross the threshold” into the man’s home. Additionally, a probable cause statement did not indicate that “any words were exchanged.”
However, Thompson did add, “There was a racial component to the case.”
According to the Kansas City Star, Ralph has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
A GoFundMe campaign has been organized to help with Ralph Yarl’s medical bills and recovery. Any additional funds will be used for college expenses.
Do you know how quickly Lester had to aim and fire that he hit Yarl twice? All because a Black teenager rang his doorbell. #smh
As someone who is still recovering from a gunshot to the head, I am heartbroken and infuriated that Ralph Yarl now faces a lifetime of recovery.
At 16 years old. For simply ringing a doorbell.
We cannot continue to be a nation defined by gun violence and injustice. pic.twitter.com/DQq063yRLz
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) April 17, 2023
NEW: Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot twice by a white man in Kansas City after accidentally ringing the doorbell of the wrong home. The man shot Ralph in the head through his glass door, and then when Yarl was already bleeding out on the ground, shot him again: https://t.co/w3tYQvcpyj pic.twitter.com/UNpQhC8j0V
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) April 16, 2023
Ralph Yarl has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home in Kansas City, his father says
“He continues to improve. He’s responsive and he’s making good progress.”https://t.co/3HvlCfZg8W
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 17, 2023
Doug and I are praying for Ralph Yarl and his family as he fights for his life.
Let's be clear: No child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell.
Every child deserves to be safe. That’s the America we are fighting for.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) April 17, 2023
I think the white guy shooting an innocent black child in the head is the definition of racial hatred — especially considering the prosecutor has evidence that it was racially motivated.
— Dork Desk (@Dork_Desk) April 18, 2023