Teen Shot by Homeowner After Ringing Wrong Doorbell


via Ben Crump Law

Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old Kansas City resident only wanted to pick up his siblings, but for no apparent reason was shot by the homeowner whose doorbell Yarl rang by mistake.

Natalia Garcia, Features Editor

      On April 19, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who is African American, went to go to pick up his siblings and ringed the wrong doorbell in a Kansas City neighborhood. Andrew Lester, the white 84-year-old resident of the house answered the door and shot Yarl in the head. While the teenager was on the ground, Lester shot him again in the arm.

     Yarl claimed he got up and ran to keep from being shot and he heard Lester say, “Don’t come around here.” Yarl went to multiple houses and told homeowners to call the police. The teen and the unintended resident didn’t say a word to each other before the violent incident. Lester claims he thought Yarl was trying to break into the home and was “scared to death” due to the boy’s size. 

      Reportedly, Lester turned himself into authorities the day after the shooting and was released hours later. Fortunately, Yarl survived the shooting and is alive today. He has been released from the hospital and is going through a rigorous recovery, according to family members.

   The shooting fueled large protests in Kansas City, as demonstrators marched throughout the city chanting “Justice for Ralph” and calling for the shooter’s arrest. People have thrown eggs and sprayed graffiti on Lester’s home. 

      The mayor of Kansas City and many people all over the country believe that Yarl was shot because of his race. A GoFundMe page has been created for Yarl to cover his medical expenses, and the page has almost reached $4 million in donations.