White Missouri man shoots Black teenager in head; released from custody without charges.

Ralph Yarl, 16
Andrew D. Lester

Ralph [Yarl], a Black 16-year-old in Kansas City, Mo., had been sent to pick up his younger twin brothers at a friend’s house on Thursday evening, his family said. But he mixed up the address, finding himself in front of a house on Northeast 115 Street, instead of Northeast 115th Terrace.

The white man who answered the door there shot him in the head and again in the arm after he fell, according to prosecutors…

The shots from a .32-caliber handgun were fired through a glass door. [T]here was no indication that “any words were exchanged.”

It was not clear if the teenager had knocked on Mr. Lester’s door or if he rang the doorbell, but he did not “cross the threshold” into the man’s home, Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson said. He added that “there was a racial component to the case.”

Somehow, Ralph made his way, bleeding, to another nearby house. There, he was told to lie on the ground while someone called for help, his family said.

The homeowner who shot him, Andrew D. Lester, 84, was taken into custody by the police for 24 hours, then released without charges on Friday.

Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City said in an interview on Monday before the charges were announced that he was “heartbroken and angry about the situation that we find ourselves in.”

“You’ve heard about driving while Black,” said Mr. Lucas, who is Black. “You’ve heard about all the other issues that Black people confront in life. Can you not knock on the door while Black? It’s almost like you can’t exist.”


Associated Press:

Yarl, an honor student and all-state band member, was supposed to pick up his two younger brothers when he approached the wrong house at roughly 10 p.m. Lester came to the door and shot Yarl in the forehead — then shot him again, in the right forearm.

No words were exchanged before the shooting, the probable cause statement said. But afterward, as Yarl got up to run, he heard Lester yell, “Don’t come around here,” the statement said.

Yarl ran to “multiple” homes asking for help before finding someone who would call the police, the statement said.


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