RALPH YARL: 16-year-old shot after ringing doorbell of wrong house to pick up his brother in Kansas City, MO

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Charges filed against homeowner in shooting of Ralph Yarl, Black teen shot when he went to the wrong house in Kansas City​

Prosecutors in Kansas City, Missouri, have filed felony charges against the homeowner accused of shooting Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who was shot when he went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings last week.

At a news conference Monday evening, Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced two felony charges against the suspect, Andrew D. Lester, whom he described as a White man who is 85 years old. The charges are one count of assault in the first degree, with a potential punishment of up to life in prison, and one count of armed criminal action.

"My heart goes out to the child and family involved in this case," Thompson said. He said the victim was shot twice, struck in the head and arm.

"The probable cause statement indicates the rounds were fired through a glass door," Thompson said, adding that it also indicated "the victim in the case did not cross the threshold."

He also said, "As the prosecutor of Clay County, I can tell you there was a racial component to the case," though he did not elaborate.

Thompson said the suspect was not yet in custody but a warrant had been issued for his arrest, with bond set at $200,000.

A short time before the announcement, Kansas City police said a case file had been submitted to the Clay County Prosecutors Office "for their review and determination of charges" in the matter.

"Our office worked closely with the Kansas City Police Department on this case, and we would not be here today but for their hard work," Thompson said. "We understand how frustrating this has been, but I can assure you the criminal justice system is working and will continue to work."

The shooting prompted protests in Kansas City and a growing outcry on social media, where lawmakers, activists and celebrities called attention to the case.

Yarl, who is 16 years old, was seriously injured in the shooting Thursday night. Yarl's father tells CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV that the teen has now been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Yarl was meant to pick up his brothers from a friend's house on 115th Terrace, but he ended up ringing the doorbell at a home on 115th Street instead, Faith Spoonmore, the teen's aunt, wrote online.

She said a man opened the door, saw Yarl and shot him in the head, and when Yarl fell to the ground, the man shot him again. Yarl got up and ran from the property, but he had to ask at three different homes before someone helped him, Spoonmore wrote.
 
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What we know about the case of Ralph Yarl, the Black teen shot after ringing the wrong doorbell​

A Black teenager who was shot by a homeowner after ringing the wrong doorbell is recovering and charges were filed Monday afternoon against a white man as calls for justice intensified in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ralph Paul Yarl, 16, was shot just before 10 p.m. Thursday when he went to pick up his younger twin brothers from a friend's home, police said.

But Yarl went to 115th Street instead of 115th Terrace and was shot twice after ringing the doorbell, his family’s attorneys, Lee Merritt and Ben Crump, said.

“Whoever was inside took a little longer than he anticipated to respond, and so he just waited at the door,” Merritt, told NBC News on Monday, citing a formal statement Yarl gave to law enforcement investigators from his hospital bed Friday.

“He heard rustling around going on in the house and then finally the door was open,” the attorney said. “And he was confronted by a man who told him, ‘Don’t come back around here,’ and then he immediately fired his weapon.”

The teen was shot in the head, which cracked his skull and left him with a critical, traumatic brain injury, Merritt said. While the teenager was still on the ground, the homeowner opened fire a second time, striking Yarl in the upper right arm, he added.

Yarl went to three houses before someone finally helped him, his aunt, Faith Spoonmore, wrote on a fundraising page for the teen’s medical expenses.


Who is Ralph Yarl?

The musically inclined as well as academically driven high school junior is described by his family as “a fantastic kid” who was looking forward to visiting West Africa before starting college.

Yarl attends Staley High School, where he is an “excellent student and talented musician,” North Kansas City Schools Superintendent Dan Clemens said in a statement Monday.

“He maintains a stellar GPA while taking mostly college level courses," he said. "While he loves science and hopes to pursue that career path, his passion is music. Thankfully, we know he is now recovering alongside family."

Yarl is a member of his school’s jazz and competition band, Spoonmore, his aunt, wrote on the fundraising page.

Brad Hudson, the Missouri All-State Band coordinator, said 1,500 students auditioned for the band in December, and Yarl was recognized in the “Honorable Mention Band.” Musicians in that category do not perform but are recognized in the program, he said.

Yarl was also chosen among 330 rising high school juniors last summer to attend the Missouri Scholars Academy, a three-week residential program for the academically gifted, said Megan Lilien, who taught a college-level chemistry-based science class and spent about three hours in the lab with Yarl and about 17 other students each day of the program.

“He was curious, intelligent. He’s quiet, but he’s literally taking in the world. You just notice. He’s just observing everything,” she said. “He has this sweet face. He wasn’t the one who was talking all the time or answering all the questions, but you knew he was learning at all times. He was kind. He was definitely respected by everyone in the group.”

Yarl's goal is to study chemical engineering in college, Lilien said.

On Monday, Spoonmore said her nephew had been released from the hospital Saturday, with Merritt adding that "he's stabilizing and recovering."

However, Spoonmore previously acknowledged on the fundraising page that Yarl has “a long road ahead mentally and emotionally.”

“The trauma that he has to endure and survive is unimaginable. He is our miracle. We have heard these types of stories many times, and unfortunately, most black boys are not alive to get another chance,” she said.

Who is the suspect?

Little is known about Lester.

Phone calls to the address where Yarl was shot went unanswered Monday.

Police said Sunday that the shooter had been taken into custody and held for 24 hours, the maximum for a suspect in a felony until charges are filed.

Police have not said what time the suspect was taken into custody, citing Missouri’s Sunshine Law, which allows records to be closed to the public in some limited circumstances.

“After consulting with the Clay County prosecutor’s office, the homeowner was released pending further investigation due to the need to obtain a formal statement from the victim and compile additional information for a case file to be presented,” Graves said.

Under Missouri law, a vast majority of felony suspects are released after 24 hours, but many are re-arrested once enough evidence is gathered to bring charges, she added.

Crump and Merritt criticized police the release, saying “there is no excuse for the release of this armed and dangerous suspect after admitting to shooting an unarmed, non threatening, and defenseless teenager that rang his doorbell.”

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I sincerely hope charges are upgraded to attempted murder. He shot him A SECOND TIME after Ralph was already on the ground from being shot in the head!
Apparently in Missouri, attempted murder is charged as 1st degree assault...

565.050. Assault, first degree, penalty. — 1. A person commits the offense of assault in the first degree if he or she attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person.

571.015. Armed criminal action, offense of — penalty. — 1. Any person who commits any felony under the laws of this state by, with, or through the use, assistance, or aid of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon is also guilty of the offense of armed criminal action and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment by the department of corrections for a term of not less than three years and not to exceed fifteen years, unless the person is unlawfully possessing a firearm, in which case the term of imprisonment shall be for a term of not less than five years. The punishment imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be in addition to and consecutive to any punishment provided by law for the crime committed by, with, or through the use, assistance, or aid of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon. No person convicted under this subsection shall be eligible for parole, probation, conditional release, or suspended imposition or execution of sentence for a period of three calendar years.
 
Wow. I am going to let this one shake out a bit as there are things that aren't making total sense to me. Not saying it isn't awful as it is HORRIBLE but it is striking me as one that often as we see in the first rush of info is probably going to change some or have a thing or two corrected.

Observations:

He has a traumatic brain injury and they sent him home that quickly to recover as they put it? Will he recover or is that a bad choice of words? Was there nothing more the hospital or care somewhere could do?

What is 115th Terrace, said twice, once I believe by his aunt and once by an attorney. Do they mean 115 Terrace as one would say with 115 Main Street, 115 Washington Avenue, etc.? Why do they add the "th" more than once? Is it a mixup of a home number for a street? They are making it sound as if it is 115th roads/streets that are mixed up.

Shot and when down shot again but he did manage to get up and go to three houses. Did the homeowner just let him get up and go at that point? Go back in and stop? Leave him for dead?

I'd like to know more of where the siblings were and that that part is all fact. I'm not doubting it, I'm just saying there is a lot missing here yet this early in and it sounds like people have made it all into a big frenzy before these things are known. Was this a new friend of his siblings and he'd never been there before? He must not have taken them to the friend's then. I'd like to know that at least the basis for being at the wrong address is fact.

The info here so far is pretty bare with no corroboration of much of anything. City Police Chief says no sign of racial motivation, prosecutor says otherwise. Biden calls. People whip all into a frenzy i
ncluding celebrities. Charges come quickly. And yet no solid basic facts yet as to what the homeowners account is of what happened, how victim got wrong address, that that is all true, etc.

Again I'm not saying it all isn't as said and awful, I just don't see much yet to be sure of anything. We have one side of a story and nothing to back it up yet.
 
Wow. I am going to let this one shake out a bit as there are things that aren't making total sense to me. Not saying it isn't awful as it is HORRIBLE but it is striking me as one that often as we see in the first rush of info is probably going to change some or have a thing or two corrected.

Observations:

He has a traumatic brain injury and they sent him home that quickly to recover as they put it? Will he recover or is that a bad choice of words? Was there nothing more the hospital or care somewhere could do?

What is 115th Terrace, said twice, once I believe by his aunt and once by an attorney. Do they mean 115 Terrace as one would say with 115 Main Street, 115 Washington Avenue, etc.? Why do they add the "th" more than once? Is it a mixup of a home number for a street? They are making it sound as if it is 115th roads/streets that are mixed up.

Shot and when down shot again but he did manage to get up and go to three houses. Did the homeowner just let him get up and go at that point? Go back in and stop? Leave him for dead?

I'd like to know more of where the siblings were and that that part is all fact. I'm not doubting it, I'm just saying there is a lot missing here yet this early in and it sounds like people have made it all into a big frenzy before these things are known. Was this a new friend of his siblings and he'd never been there before? He must not have taken them to the friend's then. I'd like to know that at least the basis for being at the wrong address is fact.

The info here so far is pretty bare with no corroboration of much of anything. City Police Chief says no sign of racial motivation, prosecutor says otherwise. Biden calls. People whip all into a frenzy i
ncluding celebrities. Charges come quickly. And yet no solid basic facts yet as to what the homeowners account is of what happened, how victim got wrong address, that that is all true, etc.

Again I'm not saying it all isn't as said and awful, I just don't see much yet to be sure of anything. We have one side of a story and nothing to back it up yet.
The home he was supposed to go to was on 115th Terrace but he went to the same number house on 115th Street.

Why would an older sibling know where is younger siblings live? This is a large school district. One of the largest in the state.

There was absolutely no justifying this. None. There is absolutely no reason for them to not have immediately arrest him.

It is not a crime ridden neighborhood at all. It is also well lit with a street light directly across the street and more up and down the street.. No words were spoken. No entry was made. He just **** the kid unprovoked through the closed front door then went outside and shot him again. He sure wasn't too scared for his life if he is leaving his home to shoot him again.For some reason KCPD didn't even take him to the patrol station that covers that area. They took him to a totally different one that is a lot farther away. Sure makes me wonder who he knows.
 
He has a traumatic brain injury and they sent him home that quickly to recover as they put it? Will he recover or is that a bad choice of words? Was there nothing more the hospital or care somewhere could do?
A traumatic brain injury is any sort of brain injury caused by trauma. It does not have to be severe or permanent. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury.
He got shot in the head. He cracked his skull. I'm not sure how that would not be considered traumatic injury.
He is home and recovering.

What is 115th Terrace, said twice, once I believe by his aunt and once by an attorney. Do they mean 115 Terrace as one would say with 115 Main Street, 115 Washington Avenue, etc.? Why do they add the "th" more than once? Is it a mixup of a home number for a street? They are making it sound as if it is 115th roads/streets that are mixed up.
No. It's 115th Terrace. Like 115th Street.
Street. Avenue. Boulevard. Place. Terrace.

Shot and when down shot again but he did manage to get up and go to three houses. Did the homeowner just let him get up and go at that point? Go back in and stop? Leave him for dead?
He's 84. He's not gonna chase him down...

I'd like to know more of where the siblings were and that that part is all fact. I'm not doubting it, I'm just saying there is a lot missing here yet this early in and it sounds like people have made it all into a big frenzy before these things are known. Was this a new friend of his siblings and he'd never been there before? He must not have taken them to the friend's then. I'd like to know that at least the basis for being at the wrong address is fact.
His siblings (twin 11-year-olds) were at a family friend's house. Ralph was supposed to pick them up. He apparently did not have his phone and was going based off directions / address he thought was correct.
Yes he was at the wrong address on accident. That's been pretty well established as fact. It would be extremely easy for police to determine if that was a made up story. Go to the actual "correct" address and see if his siblings were there.
It's pretty easy to get Street, Boulevard, Terrace, etc. confused. My brother lives off of 211th Court. The street immediately before his is 211th Street. I definitely went to the wrong house the first time I visited him. Didn't knock on the door because I didn't see their vehicles and realized my mistake.

The info here so far is pretty bare with no corroboration of much of anything. City Police Chief says no sign of racial motivation, prosecutor says otherwise. Biden calls. People whip all into a frenzy i
ncluding celebrities. Charges come quickly. And yet no solid basic facts yet as to what the homeowners account is of what happened, how victim got wrong address, that that is all true, etc.

Again I'm not saying it all isn't as said and awful, I just don't see much yet to be sure of anything. We have one side of a story and nothing to back it up yet.
Except now we have charges. They don't charge people based on a "frenzy". And quite frankly, there SHOULD be a frenzy. This behavior is disgusting.
He shot Ralph through a CLOSED screen door. Through the glass. Ralph did not attempt to, nor did he, cross the threshold of the house at any time.
I'm sorry but there is absolutely no excuse for this.
 
The home he was supposed to go to was on 115th Terrace but he went to the same number house on 115th Street.

Why would an older sibling know where is younger siblings live? This is a large school district. One of the largest in the state.

There was absolutely no justifying this. None. There is absolutely no reason for them to not have immediately arrest him.

It is not a crime ridden neighborhood at all. It is also well lit with a street light directly across the street and more up and down the street.. No words were spoken. No entry was made. He just **** the kid unprovoked through the closed front door then went outside and shot him again. He sure wasn't too scared for his life if he is leaving his home to shoot him again.For some reason KCPD didn't even take him to the patrol station that covers that area. They took him to a totally different one that is a lot farther away. Sure makes me wonder who he knows.
Correction...words were spoken AFTER he shot him the second time by yelling at the kid "don't come back". AFTER he shot him twice! The kid simply knocked on the door. That was his entire " crime".
 
Take race out of it completely and it's still disgusting. A TEENAGER rings a doorbell. WAITS for the door to be answered. And gets SHOT.
I think they'll find that there was, in fact, a racial motivation / racial component. But even if they find no such thing...despicable.
 
A traumatic brain injury is any sort of brain injury caused by trauma. It does not have to be severe or permanent. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury.
He got shot in the head. He cracked his skull. I'm not sure how that would not be considered traumatic injury.
He is home and recovering.


No. It's 115th Terrace. Like 115th Street.
Street. Avenue. Boulevard. Place. Terrace.


He's 84. He's not gonna chase him down...


His siblings (twin 11-year-olds) were at a family friend's house. Ralph was supposed to pick them up. He apparently did not have his phone and was going based off directions / address he thought was correct.
Yes he was at the wrong address on accident. That's been pretty well established as fact. It would be extremely easy for police to determine if that was a made up story. Go to the actual "correct" address and see if his siblings were there.
It's pretty easy to get Street, Boulevard, Terrace, etc. confused. My brother lives off of 211th Court. The street immediately before his is 211th Street. I definitely went to the wrong house the first time I visited him. Didn't knock on the door because I didn't see their vehicles and realized my mistake.


Except now we have charges. They don't charge people based on a "frenzy". And quite frankly, there SHOULD be a frenzy. This behavior is disgusting.
He shot Ralph through a CLOSED screen door. Through the glass. Ralph did not attempt to, nor did he, cross the threshold of the house at any time.
I'm sorry but there is absolutely no excuse for this.
There absolutely should have been a " frenzy"! KCPD did themselves no favors here. Their "excuse" for the delay in sending paperwork to the PA was that they hadn't interviewed Ralph. This is basically saying that no charges would have ever been filed at all if he had killed him since you can't really ever interview a dead person to get their statement.
 
The teenager’s father, Paul Yarl, said in a phone interview on Monday evening that his son underwent surgery over the weekend to remove the bullets. He was able to walk out of the hospital on Sunday evening and was expected to make a full recovery, his father said. The first bullet hit his son’s forehead on the side of his face, close to the hairline, he said, and the second hit his right arm.

1681793246362.png
 
The home he was supposed to go to was on 115th Terrace but he went to the same number house on 115th Street.

Why would an older sibling know where is younger siblings live? This is a large school district. One of the largest in the state.

There was absolutely no justifying this. None. There is absolutely no reason for them to not have immediately arrest him.

It is not a crime ridden neighborhood at all. It is also well lit with a street light directly across the street and more up and down the street.. No words were spoken. No entry was made. He just **** the kid unprovoked through the closed front door then went outside and shot him again. He sure wasn't too scared for his life if he is leaving his home to shoot him again.For some reason KCPD didn't even take him to the patrol station that covers that area. They took him to a totally different one that is a lot farther away. Sure makes me wonder who he knows.
I don't think I made the 115th thing clear. What I'm asking is was it house number 115? If so, you say 115 Terrace, not 115th Terrace, etc

I justified NOTHING, I said there is a lot missing here. Some of the things you share in this post here are not in the articles, I don't have that info and that's the point, it isn't provided nor verified.

I don't think I read no words were spoken anywhere. In fact it was said the homeowner said "don't come around here no more". Which is it?

What do you mean a sibling doesn't know where his siblings live? It said the siblings were at a friend's house so what do you mean where the siblings live?

More confused than before with lack of facts now. Sure isn't matching up.

It's like they say shooting through the door but also saying door was opened. I can only guess there are two doors and he opened one and shot through the other but of course it doesn't SAY taht so who knows.

I also don't think I read anywhere here that he went outside to shoot the second time.

My whole point was not much is verified that I KNOW OF so far.

Where does it all come from by the way? Was it all caught on video or is this someone's account?

Anyhow, I didn't justify a thing and was quite clear that there is not enough yet imo to be sure of any of the details to speak of.

You must be bringing in hearing things or reading elsewhere or locally or something as the things you say I sure can't find in this thread.

I'm really curious about your statement he wouldn't know where his siblings lived? So are there two versions of the story? They weren't at a friend's house?

I think they better get things straightened out if this is what is going on before all the wrong info gets spread.
 
I don't think I made the 115th thing clear. What I'm asking is was it house number 115? If so, you say 115 Terrace, not 115th Terrace, etc

I justified NOTHING, I said there is a lot missing here. Some of the things you share in this post here are not in the articles, I don't have that info and that's the point, it isn't provided nor verified.

I don't think I read no words were spoken anywhere. In fact it was said the homeowner said "don't come around here no more". Which is it?

What do you mean a sibling doesn't know where his siblings live? It said the siblings were at a friend's house so what do you mean where the siblings live?

More confused than before with lack of facts now. Sure isn't matching up.

It's like they say shooting through the door but also saying door was opened. I can only guess there are two doors and he opened one and shot through the other but of course it doesn't SAY taht so who knows.

I also don't think I read anywhere here that he went outside to shoot the second time.

My whole point was not much is verified that I KNOW OF so far.

Where does it all come from by the way? Was it all caught on video or is this someone's account?

Anyhow, I didn't justify a thing and was quite clear that there is not enough yet imo to be sure of any of the details to speak of.

You must be bringing in hearing things or reading elsewhere or locally or something as the things you say I sure can't find in this thread.

I'm really curious about your statement he wouldn't know where his siblings lived? So are there two versions of the story? They weren't at a friend's house?

I think they better get things straightened out if this is what is going on before all the wrong info gets spread.
They only didn't mention the actual house number. Not sure why that is an issue. Its readily available in many sources.

Also jot sure why you assume a much older brother that is listed as having many school activists would automatically know where all of his much younger sibling s friends live.

The statement of no words spoken came from the defendant himself and is in the charging documsnts.

Per charging documents...He said he shot twice within seconds of opening the door and no words were exchanged.

 
I don't think I made the 115th thing clear. What I'm asking is was it house number 115? If so, you say 115 Terrace, not 115th Terrace, etc

I justified NOTHING, I said there is a lot missing here. Some of the things you share in this post here are not in the articles, I don't have that info and that's the point, it isn't provided nor verified.

I don't think I read no words were spoken anywhere. In fact it was said the homeowner said "don't come around here no more". Which is it?

What do you mean a sibling doesn't know where his siblings live? It said the siblings were at a friend's house so what do you mean where the siblings live?

More confused than before with lack of facts now. Sure isn't matching up.

It's like they say shooting through the door but also saying door was opened. I can only guess there are two doors and he opened one and shot through the other but of course it doesn't SAY taht so who knows.

I also don't think I read anywhere here that he went outside to shoot the second time.

My whole point was not much is verified that I KNOW OF so far.

Where does it all come from by the way? Was it all caught on video or is this someone's account?

Anyhow, I didn't justify a thing and was quite clear that there is not enough yet imo to be sure of any of the details to speak of.

You must be bringing in hearing things or reading elsewhere or locally or something as the things you say I sure can't find in this thread.

I'm really curious about your statement he wouldn't know where his siblings lived? So are there two versions of the story? They weren't at a friend's house?

I think they better get things straightened out if this is what is going on before all the wrong info gets spread.
ALL of this has been verified today and is in many, many news sources. The charges were made this evening. THREE days later. Not sure where you are getting the "two versions" from.
 
If you are scared of somebody knocking at your door, maybe the answer is just don't answer and call the cops if you are REALLY scared of somebody knocking on your door. Problem solved.
 
A traumatic brain injury is any sort of brain injury caused by trauma. It does not have to be severe or permanent. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury.
He got shot in the head. He cracked his skull. I'm not sure how that would not be considered traumatic injury.
He is home and recovering.


No. It's 115th Terrace. Like 115th Street.
Street. Avenue. Boulevard. Place. Terrace.


He's 84. He's not gonna chase him down...


His siblings (twin 11-year-olds) were at a family friend's house. Ralph was supposed to pick them up. He apparently did not have his phone and was going based off directions / address he thought was correct.
Yes he was at the wrong address on accident. That's been pretty well established as fact. It would be extremely easy for police to determine if that was a made up story. Go to the actual "correct" address and see if his siblings were there.
It's pretty easy to get Street, Boulevard, Terrace, etc. confused. My brother lives off of 211th Court. The street immediately before his is 211th Street. I definitely went to the wrong house the first time I visited him. Didn't knock on the door because I didn't see their vehicles and realized my mistake.


Except now we have charges. They don't charge people based on a "frenzy". And quite frankly, there SHOULD be a frenzy. This behavior is disgusting.
He shot Ralph through a CLOSED screen door. Through the glass. Ralph did not attempt to, nor did he, cross the threshold of the house at any time.
I'm sorry but there is absolutely no excuse for this.
Traumatic brain injury...

About 75 percent of cases of brain trauma are considered mild but they are by no means benign. In fact, authors of a study published in the January issue of JAMA Psychiatry report that as many as one in five individuals who have sustained a mild head injury will develop mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder, personality changes and behavioral abnormalities.


 

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