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Homeowner Who Shot Black Teenager, Ralph Yarl Faced Two Felony Charges

Homeowner Who Shot Black Teenager, Ralph Yarl Faced Two Felony Charges . (Photo: Ben Crump Law via AP)

Felony charges have been filed 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.

Charges filed against homeowner in shooting of Ralph Yarl, Black teen shot when he went to the wrong house in Kansas City. (Photo: CNN)

Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced two felony charges against the suspect, Andrew D. Lester, at a news conference Monday evening. However, charging documents stated that Lester was 84 years old. The charges are one count of first-degree assault, with a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of armed criminal action.

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

“The probable cause statement indicates that the rounds were fired through a glass door,” Thompson explained, adding that “the victim in the case did not cross the threshold.”

“As the prosecutor of Clay County, I can tell you there was a racial component to the case,” he added, without going into further detail.

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

A few hours before the announcement, Kansas City police said a case file had been turned over to the Clay County Prosecutors Office “for their review and determination of charges” in the case.

“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 that the criminal justice system is working and will continue to work.”

Protests erupted in Kansas City, and there was a growing outcry on social media, with lawmakers, activists, and celebrities all calling attention to the case.

Yarl, 16, was critically injured in the shooting on Thursday night. Yarl’s father tells CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV that his son has been discharged from the hospital and is recuperating at home.

Yarl was supposed to pick up his brothers from a friend’s house on 115th Terrace, but instead he rang the doorbell at a home on 115th Street, according to Faith Spoonmore, the teen’s aunt.

She claimed that a man opened the door, saw Yarl, and shot him in the head, then shot him again when he fell to the ground. Spoonmore wrote that Yarl got up and ran from the property, but he had to ask at three different houses before someone helped him.

Police in Kansas City said they responded around 10 p.m.

According to Police Chief Stacey Graves, the homeowner was arrested on Thursday and placed on a 24-hour hold before being released in consultation with the county prosecutor’s office while the investigation was ongoing.

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who represents Yarl’s family, said in a statement Monday evening that the family had spoken with President Biden.

“We learned moments after the family got off the phone with President Biden, who offered his prayers for Ralph’s recovery and for justice, that the prosecutor will charge the man responsible for the deplorable shooting of this innocent boy. Gun violence against unarmed Black individuals must stop; our children should feel safe, not hunted,” Crump said. “While this is certainly a step in the right direction, we will continue to fight for Ralph as he works towards full recovery.”

READ ALSO: Madeline Brame Slammed DA Alvin Bragg’s Handling Of Her Son’s Death Case ‘Like A Garbage’

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