A white man from Kansas, City, Missouri, said he shot a Black teenager who mistakenly rang his doorbell because he was “scared,” CNN reported.
Andrew Lester, 84, has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action after he allegedly shot Ralph Yarl in front of his home last week, Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson said during a press conference on Monday.
Yarl, a 16-year-old high schooler, had intended to pick up his brothers on the evening of April 13, but went to the wrong address and rang the doorbell twice, Thompson said
Lester told police officers that he was in bed when he heard his doorbell ring and grabbed a handgun before answering, adding that he was “scared to death” by Yarl’s size, CNN reported, citing a probable cause statement.
“He stated he believed someone was attempting to break into the house, and shot twice (through an exterior storm door) within a few seconds of opening the (main) door,” the statement, written by police officers, said, according to CNN.
“(He) stated the male inside took a long time but finally opened the door holding a firearm. He stated he was immediately shot in the head and fell to the ground,” it said.
His attorneys and aunt, Faith Spoonmore, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Yarl was shot twice, with bullets striking him in the left forehead and right arm, the probable cause statement said.
Spoonmore said in a TikTok video posted last week that before her nephew, “a man opened up the door, looked at him in the eye and said: ‘Don’t ever come back here!’ as he shot him in the head.”
“My nephew fell down and the man shot him again,” she added in the video.
After three nights in the hospital, the 16-year-old has been brought home and “continues to improve,” his father, Paul Yarl, told The Kansas City Star. Yarl’s mother, who is a nurse, has taken time off work to tend to her son, he added.
A warrant had been issued for Lester’s arrest.
“My message to the community is that, in Clay County, we enforce the laws and we follow the laws,” Thompson said at the press conference on Monday. “That doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like or how much money you have.”