84-year-old charged with shooting teenager who mistakenly went to the wrong house

Photo courtesy of MGN.

04/18/2023 By Meghan O’Brien

Sixteen-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot twice by homeowner Andrew Lester Thursday night in Kansas City, Missouri, after Yarl mistakenly arrived at Lester’s door to pick up his two younger brothers. Lester has since turned himself in at the Clay County Detention Center and has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Photo courtesy of MGN.

According to Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson, there may have been a “racial component” to the attack Thursday night, after Lester claimed he was “scared to death” despite no physical or conversational interaction between the two before the shooting, but Thompson said “racial motivation” was not included in the charging documents. Some civil rights leaders have urged Clay County to include a hate crime charge.

Yarl was released from the hospital Sunday and has improved physically over the past few days, yet his mother, Cleo Nagbe, has been honest regarding his emotional well-being.

“You can see that he is just replaying the situation over and over again, and that just doesn’t stop my tears either,” she said in an interview. 

Supporters are reaching out by rallying and protesting in the streets of Kansas City and setting up a GoFundMe page for the Yarl family. Their effort has brought in nearly $2.9 million within the past few days.