Lawyers for the family of 16-year-old Black teenager Ralph Yarl said his recovery is a “miracle” after he was shot in the head and arm last week by a Kansas City homeowner.
Yarl mistakenly went to the wrong address to pick up his siblings on Thursday (April 13) when he was shot twice by the homeowner.
Following the shooting, Yarl was transported to a local hospital with severe injuries, including traumatic brain injury, according to Lee Merritt, one of the family’s lawyers.
“Thursday night, doctors were scraping off bullet fragments off his brain. Saturday, he was released from the hospital,” Merritt told CNN on Tuesday (April 18), noting that Yarl’s recovery was a miracle.
If the bullet would’ve hit Yarl’s head a fraction of an inch in any other direction, the 16-year-old teenager would probably be dead right now, Merritt said, per social media activist Shaun King.
Yarl is now at home and expected to make a full recovery.
“He has a prognosis of a full recovery, minus scarring and long-term, maybe, CTE and Post Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms,” Merritt told CNN.
News of Yarl’s recovery comes after homeowner Andrew Lester was charged on Monday (April 17) with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. Lester, who is white, told police that he shot Yarl because he thought the teen was trying to break into his home and he was “scared to death.”
The suspected shooter surrendered and was taken into custody at a detention center on Tuesday (April 18) before being released on a $200,000 bond hours later. Lester is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday (April 19).
In the aftermath of the shooting, Yarl’s prognosis is “very, very positive,” but he still has a long road to full recovery.
“He lost a part of himself that day. A lot has changed since that happened. The way in which he’s gonna walk through this world, it’s gonna be totally different because of what happened,” Yarl’s aunt Faith Spoonmore said, noting his survival was “a true miracle.”
Yarl and his family are also reportedly working with a trauma-informed psychologist and therapist to begin healing from the tragic incident.
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