WATCH: Ralph Yarl’s high school classmates walk out in support of him, demanding justice on his behalf. pic.twitter.com/VXzvpmXQ9i
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) April 18, 2023
The approximately 1,500 students assembled chanted, “We love you, Ralph!” during the demonstration.
Yarl, a 16-year-old Black boy, was shot in the head by Andrew Lester, an 84-year-old White man. On April 13, Yarl went to the wrong house and rang Lester’s doorbell to pick up his siblings.
On April 17, Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson charged Lester with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. The assault charge is Class A felony, the highest in Missouri and carries a maximum sentence of life. Lester was not in custody at the time of Thompson’s announcement, but bond has been set at $200,000.
“As the prosecutor of Clay County, I can tell you there was a racial component to the case,” Thompson said in the press conference broadcast by CBS News.
NEW: The Clay County prosecutor has charged 84-year-old Andrew Lester in the shooting of Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old Black boy in Kansas City who went to the wrong address to pick up his siblings last week.
The prosecutor announced that Lester has been charged with first-degree… pic.twitter.com/M0bQdDaFiB
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) April 17, 2023
Lester told police he was “scared to death” when he saw Yarl at his door due to the teenage boy’s 6 foot height. Without exchanging words, he shot him twice and then called 911, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden has spoken to Yarl and invited him to the White House.
Last night, I had a chance to call Ralph Yarl and his family.
No parent should have to worry that their kid will be shot after ringing the wrong doorbell. We've got to keep up the fight against gun violence.
And Ralph, we'll see you in the Oval once you feel better. pic.twitter.com/mPXiM1X6nK
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 18, 2023
Yarl is recovering, according to civil rights attorney Lee Merritt.
“Ralph Yarl is home and recovering,” Merritt tweeted.
Ralph Yarl is home and recovering! How the bullet in his head did not cause more extensive damage is truly a miracle. To God be the glory! pic.twitter.com/y5mWpQNcY4
— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) April 19, 2023