Andrew Lester Taken Into Custody For Shooting Of Black Teen Ralph Yarl

Photo: Kansas City Police

Andrew Lester, the 84-year-old Kansas City homeowner charged with shooting Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who mistakenly went to his home, is now in custody.

On Tuesday (April 18), the Clay County Sheriff’s Office announced that Lester, who is white, surrendered and was taken into custody at the county detention center, per NBC News.

The announcement comes after Lester was charged on Monday (April 17) with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action in the shooting of Yarl.

Yarl, 16, accidentally went to the wrong address to pick up his siblings on Thursday (April 13) when he was shot through a glass door. Lester told authorities that he saw a Black male pulling on his door handle and thought his home was being broken into.

Lester said shooting Yarl “was the last thing he wanted to do, but he was ‘scared to death.'”

When interviewed by police at the hospital, Yarl said he didn’t pull on the door. At one point during the shooting, Yarl told police that he heard a voice say “Don’t come around here.”

The 16-year-old has since been released from the hospital and is at home recovering with his family.

Authorities said they recognize there is a racial component to the case, but Lester will not face hate crime charges because it would be a lesser degree of felony than what he has already been charged with.

“Our office has charged the defendant in his case with an A felony, which is four classes higher than a hate crime enhancement could take a charge,” Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said, noting that “legally speaking, there is not a racial element to the legal charges that were filed.”

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