LIBERTY, Mo. — The Clay County Prosecutor is receiving death threats over the Ralph Yarl shooting case.

Zachary Thompson’s office confirmed the threats and said they have been reported to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Thompson released a statement addressing the threats. He said he will not be deterred from prosecuting the case.

“I chose to become the prosecutor and understood the risks that come with that responsibility. Victims of crime have not chosen their role. My focus, and the focus of our community, should be firmly on seeking justice for those victims. My message to anyone who seeks to influence the decisions of this office through threats to me or my family is that they will not succeed.”

Zachary Thompson statement

Andrew Lester, 84, is charged with armed criminal action and first-degree assault after prosecutors said he shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl. Investigators said the teenager confused Lester’s address with a home about a block away where he was supposed to pick up his younger brothers.

Yesterday Yarl’s family and their attorneys said they’ve asked for Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to try to the case, saying they no longer have confidence in Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson.

The Clay County Prosecutor’s office said it is focused on following the law and getting justice in the case.