KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man is charged in the shooting of a 16-year-old Kansas City, Missouri teenager.
Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced late Monday afternoon that Andrew D. Lester, 84, is charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. This just hours after Kansas City police submitted the case to prosecutors.
Lester is accused of shooting Ralph Yarl on Thursday night after the teen accidentally went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings.
Kansas City police said just before 10 p.m. April 13, Ralph was picking up his younger siblings at a home on N.E. 115th Terrace when he mistakenly went to a house on N.E. 115th Street.
When Ralph arrived at the home, the homeowner shot him.
“My reaction is a relief. That’s what we requested, that’s what we wanted, and that’s what is happening so we’re happy,” Ralph’s father, Paul Yarl told FOX4 Monday following the announcement of charges.
According to court records, when officers approached the home, they could see the front storm door glass shattered with Lester standing inside the home. Lester provided a written consent to search the home.
In an interview with police, Lester stated he had just laid down in bed when he heard the doorbell ring. He stated he picked up his .32 Smith and Wesson 1888 revolver before responding to answer the door.
Lester said the front door of his home consisted of an interior main door and exterior glass storm door, both of which were locked, according to court documents.
Lester stated he opened the interior door and saw a Black man pulling on the exterior storm door handle. Lester said he believed someone was attempting to break into the house and shot twice within a few seconds of opening the door, court documents say.
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According to court documents, Yarl said Lester told, “Don’t come around here” following the shooting. Yarl went to multiple homes asking for help and telling people to call police, who arrived shortly after. He suffered a gunshot wound in the left forehead and right arm.
Family confirmed with FOX4 that Yarl was out of the hospital Monday.
“He’s in good spirits. He cracked a smile today,” his father Paul Yarl said. “One of his teachers from elementary school asked him for permission to give a testimony, how good of a student Ralph was. So, when Ralph saw that request from his elementary school teacher, he smiled, said, ‘Of course he can talk about me.'”
Following the charging announcement, Mayor Quinton Lucas released a statement:
“I am relieved to see this first step towards justice for Ralph Yarl with today’s felony charges. Now we must remain engaged through trial.”
A warrant has been issued for Lester’s arrest; his bond has been set at $200,000.
“Man could’ve called police if he suspected something, he could’ve called 911. To shoot, that was wrong,” Paul Yarl said.
The shooting has stirred protest and outrage nationwide. Nearly 1,000 people marched to the Northland home where it happened this past weekend.