KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The mother of a Kansas City teen is speaking out after her 16-year-old son was shot after going to the wrong home to pick up his siblings last week.
Ralph Yarl, a Black teen, was shot by a white Northland homeowner on April 13, when he arrived at the wrong address to pick up his younger brothers.
Yarl’s mother Cleo Nagbe and attorney Lee Merritt joined Gayle King on CBS Mornings Tuesday to discuss the shooting and give an update on Ralph’s condition.
Nagbe said the night of the shooting Ralph’s twin brothers were supposed to be at a sleepover, because they did not have school the next day. Nagbe said because she is somewhat leery of sleepovers, she asked Ralph to pick up his brothers and bring them home before 10 p.m.
While Ralph intended to pick up his siblings at a home on N.E. 115th Terrace, he mistakenly went to a house on N.E. 115th Street. When he arrived at the home, the homeowner shot him.
“He went and rang the doorbell. And he was supposed to stay outside, and his brothers were supposed to run outside, get in the car and they come home,” Nagbe said.
“That was what was suppose to happen. While he was standing there, his brothers didn’t run outside, but he got a couple of bullets in his body instead of a couple of twins coming up, out, and giving him a hug.”
Nagbe told King that Ralph was shot on the top of his left eye and a second time in his upper right arm. Nagbe said the bullet remained in Ralph’s temple for 12 hours before it could be removed. She said Ralph is only home because of the medical experts in their family who are supporting him.
“The residual effect of that injury is going to stay with him for quite a while. He’s home, but I want to remind everybody that Ralph is home because he is surrounded by a team of medical professionals. I’m a nurse for almost 20 years. His aunt is a physical therapist, his uncle is a medical professional. That is why he is home,” Nagbe said.
Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced late Monday that 84-year-old Andrew D. Lester has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action for the shooting.
According to court documents, Yarl said Lester told him, “Don’t come around here” following the shooting.
The night of the shooting, Lester was taken into police custody for questioning and then released. Tuesday afternoon Lester surrendered himself to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
President Joe Biden said he talked to Yarl and his family Monday evening and invited Ralph to the Oval Office when he feels better.