Teen Ralph Yarl leaves hospital as man, 84, is charged following wrong-door shooting

Teenager Ralph Yarl's mother has described how he's lucky to be alive, after being shot in the head. Martha Fairlie reports

Black teen Ralph Yarl has left hopsital four days on from being shot in the head after accidentally going to the wrong door when trying to pick up his younger brothers.

An 84-year-old man was charged on Monday with first-degree assault for the shooting which took place in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ralph, 16, who is described as “an excellent student and talented musician”, is now recovering home after being released from hospital after having a bullet in his head for 12 hours, his mother has said.

His aunt Faith Spoonmore said he is “doing well physically” but has a lot of trauma to overcome emotionally.

Ralph Yarl, 16, was trying to pick up his younger brother but was shot for knocking on the wrong door. Credit: AP

The 16-year-old was supposed to pick up his two younger brothers when he approached the wrong house at around 10pm on Thursday.

Police said Ralph had mistaken 115th Terrace, where his parents had asked him to go, for 115th Street, the Kansas City Star reported.

Andrew Lester came to the door and shot Ralph in the forehead, then shot him again in the right arm.

With a bullet in his head and arm, he ran from home to home, speaking to three different households before someone agreed to help, and that was only after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up, his family said.

Ralph Yarl's mother speaks out in an interview with CBS News following the shooting

As Ralph got up to run, he heard Lester yell, “don’t come around here”, according to a statement made to police.

The crimes Lester has been charged with could lead to life in prison - though he was not charged with a hate crime.

Prosecuting lawyer Zachary Thompson said there was a “racial component” to the shooting.

Marchers rally in support of Ralph Yarl, after he was shot for knocking on the wrong door

Mr Thompson said: “We understand how frustrating this has been but I can assure you the criminal justice system is working and will continue to work.”

He said in Missouri a hate crime is considered lesser than first-degree assault, and would lead to a shorter sentence.

Since the shooting, a GoFundMe page set up by Ralph's family to help pay medical bills has raised more than $2.9 million (£2.33 million).

Andrew Lester who shot a Black teen who approached the wrong house in Kansas City. Credit: Kansas City Police Department

Speaking to CBS News, Ralph's mum said: "He had the bullet in, up here (gesturing to her head) for about, let's say up to 12 hours before it was taken out, so that injury is extensive and the residual effect of that injury is going to stay with him for quite a while."

Ralph has received an outpouring of support, from people in Kansas to celebrities including Halle Berry, Justin Timberlake and Naomi Campbell.

Justin Timberlake posts on Twitter in support of Ralph Yarl

Demonstrations have been held in Kansas City in the wake of the shooting. By Monday afternoon, the home where the attack took place had been egged and a heart with “16” in the middle was sprayed on the walls.

Lawyer Ben Crump, who has represented families in several high-profile cases of violence on black people, including Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, questioned why the shooter was not arrested and charged immediately.

He said: “We all believe that if the roles were reversed and this was a black citizen who shot a 16-year-old for merely ringing his doorbell, they would have arrested him, and he wouldn’t have slept in his bed that night.”

Two days after Ralph was shot, an "innocent young girl" was also killed while looking for a friend's house in upstate New York.

Kaylin Gillis, 20, was shot dead after she and her friends accidentally drove into the wrong driveway. Credit: GoFundMe

Kaylin Gillis, 20, was in a car with three of her friends, when they made a wrong turn onto a front drive in the rural town of Hebron, on Saturday night.

As they tried to turn the car, the homeowner, Kevin Monahan, 65, came out and fired two shots, according to Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy.

Emergency crews performed CPR on Gillis but could not save her.

Monahan was charged with second-degree murder.

Mr Murphy said Ms Gillis, of Schuylerville, “was an innocent young girl who was out with friends looking for another friend’s house.”

There was ”no reason for Mr Monahan to feel threatened,” Mr Murphy added, during a press conference on Monday, according to the Times Union of Albany. 

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