White homeowner accused of shooting black teen who rang doorbell turns himself in, free on bail


The 84-year-old white man accused of shooting a black teenager who rang a doorbell in Kansas City turned himself in Tuesday and was released on bail, authorities said.

Andrew Lester faces two felony charges in the April 13 shooting of Ralph Yarl — first-degree assault and armed criminal conduct — according to Yarl family attorney Lee Merri Lee Merritt said he will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon. CNN has contacted prosecutors to confirm the information.

leicester Surrendered in the detention center He was released on bail hours later on Tuesday. The conditions of his $200,000 bail prohibit him from possessing a weapon of any kind and from having direct or indirect contact with Yarl or his family, according to Sarah Boyd, a spokeswoman for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Ralph, 16, was shot in the head and arm after going to the wrong address to pick up his siblings. He has been released from hospital but has had a difficult recovery, his family said.

Lester told police he did not speak to the teen before he shot him through a locked glass door.

This reservation photo of Andrew Lester was taken after he turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday.

CNN was unable to reach the homeowner. CNN has not yet determined whether Leicester has an attorney.

The criminal charges have brought some solace to Ralph’s family — but Ralph’s recovery and justice are a long way off, his aunt Faith Spoonmore told CNN television news network.

“It’s not as simple as turning the page,” Spenmore said Tuesday. “It’s better that he – hopefully – gets his share.”

But questions remain about why Lester was initially detained but released hours after the April 13 shooting.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas told CNN: “I am as angry and concerned as many people are asking why.”

“In Missouri, you can keep 24 hours. Here, obviously, it’s two or three hours, the time they interrogate the suspect. He can go home that night.”

According to probable cause documents obtained by CNN, Lester told police that when he saw Ralph pull the outside door handle, he opened fire immediately after ringing the doorbell.

According to the document, Lester believes Ralph tried to break into the home and was “scared to death” because of the boy’s size.

ralph yall

Police responded by 10 p.m. after receiving reports of the shooting. When they arrived, they found Ralph wounded in the street.

The shooting left Ralph, who plays bass clarinet and is the school’s band director, with gunshot wounds to the head and arms. While in hospital, Ralph told police he didn’t pull the door, according to the documents.

Ralph’s release from the hospital was “literally a miracle,” Ralph’s attorney, Ben Crump, told CNN on Monday. But “he’s not out of the woods yet.”

The shooting sparked protests in Kansas City and sparked memories of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery — young black men later claimed to have The man who defended himself was shot and killed.

Demonstrators marched through Kansas City, chanting “Justice for Ralph” and calling for the arrest of the shooter.

The shooting came days after a 20-year-old woman was shot and killed in upstate New York after she and three others accidentally turned into the wrong lane.

While Ralph’s attorneys said the teen never posed a threat to the shooter, it was unclear whether Missouri’s “stand your ground” law would be invoked in Lester’s defense case.

“Stand your ground” laws allow people to respond to threats or force without fear of criminal prosecution anywhere an individual has the right to go.

Ralph’s aunt questions the notion that her nephew’s “size” could be a threat.

“I really don’t get it,” Spoonmore said. “I doubt even Ralph is 170 pounds. Ralph isn’t even 6 feet (tall).”

She said her mission is to help her nephew get justice.

“I want justice to look the same in all respects,” Spenmore said. “I want justice to look the same.”

The mayor said he believed the shooter had racially abused Ralph.

“The boy was shot because he existed at Black,” Lucas said.

“There is a racial component to this case,” said Clay County Attorney Zachary Thompson, without elaborating.

Lester was taken into custody on the night of the shooting and released less than two hours later, two representatives from the Kansas City Police Department’s detention facility previously told CNN.

Lester was released because police recognized that more investigative work needed to be done, Thompson said.

Attorney Crump questioned why Lester was not detained longer.

“No one can tell us if the roles are reversed and you have a black man shoot a 16-year-old white teenager because he just rang his doorbell so he wouldn’t get arrested. I mean, the citizen was in Go home and sleep in bed at night after shooting that young black kid,” Crump told CNN.

“He just rang the doorbell. That’s it,” the teen’s attorney said. “The owner then fired through the door, hitting him in the head and then shooting him again.”

The mayor said he did not know the details of the shooting until days after the shooting. While he believes race played a role in the shooting, he acknowledged the work of police officers — including white officers — helping prosecutors bring charges against Lester.

“We do have officers, white officers who are worth the price, who have gone to great lengths to get the case files over to prosecutors, who quickly filed charges,” Lucas said.

“That being said, to pretend that race isn’t part of the whole situation is to bury your head in the sand.”

According to the probable cause statement, Lester told police that before the shooting, Lester was lying in bed when he heard the doorbell ring and picked up his .32-caliber revolver.

He then went to the main entrance of his home, which consisted of an inner door and a glass outer door – both of which were locked.

A police car was seen Monday outside the house where 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot.

Lester opened the inner door and “saw a black male about 6 feet tall pulling the handle of the outer storm door,” Lester told police.

“He said he believed someone was trying to break into the house and fired two shots within seconds of opening the door,” the probable cause statement read.

“He believed he was protecting himself from a physical confrontation and could not risk a male in,” the filing read.

According to the document, Lester said he called 911 immediately after the shooting.

Protesters marched in Kansas City on Sunday.

Police spoke to Ralph while he was being treated in the hospital, the documents show, and he told them his mother told him to pick up his brothers at 1100 NE 115th Street, the physical address where they live, according to the documents. NE 115th balcony.

When he arrived at the 115th Street house, Ralph said he rang the doorbell and waited a moment before a man eventually opened the door and immediately shot him in the head, causing him to fall, the documents said.

While the teen was still on the ground, the man fired again, shooting him in the arm, Ralph told police.

Ralph said he got up and ran to avoid being shot, and he heard the man say, “Don’t come over,” the document said. He then went to various nearby families for help and told people to call the police.

According to the probable cause document, the boy told officers he did not pull the door.

Responding officers also found broken glass on the Lester home’s front storm door and blood on the front porch and driveway, according to the document.

The teen “had to run to 3 different homes until someone told him to lie on the ground with his hands up before finally agreeing to help him,” reads the GoFundMe page started by Aunt Ralph.

A neighbor who asked not to be named told CNN she called 911 after Ralph came to her door bleeding.

With the shooter’s location unknown at the time, emergency operators directed her to stay home for her safety. She said she initially complied, then went outside with a towel to help stop the bleeding.

“It was someone’s child. I had to clean up the blood on the door and the railing. It was someone’s child’s blood,” she said. “I’m a mother… this won’t work.”

Ralph is still traumatized by the ordeal, but the family hopes he will make a full recovery because Ralph is young and strong, Crump said.

“He and his family are happy that he’s alive after being shot in the head,” Crump told CNN.

The first bullet entered Yar’s upper temple less than five feet and penetrated his skull, Merritt said Tuesday.

“Thursday, they scraped bullet fragments off his frontal lobe. Saturday he was home playing with his dog,” Merritt said.

He said God told the community and its leaders that they cannot go about their business as usual.

“It’s actually a miracle. What we should learn from that miracle is the question we need to answer.”

According to the GoFundMe page, Ralph is the section leader of a marching band, often with an instrument in hand, and has been looking forward to graduating high school and visiting West Africa before going to college.

“Life looks very different now. Although he is in good physical shape, he has a long way to go mentally and emotionally. The trauma he has had to endure and survive is unimaginable,” said the aunt at the fundraiser. wrote in.

A GoFundMe page started to help the family with medical bills had raised more than $2 million in donations by Monday night.

Crump compared Ralph’s shooting to that of Martin, 17, in Florida, and Arbery, 25, in Georgia.

“We continue to argue that you can’t profile and shoot our kids just because you have this ‘stand your ground’ law,” Crump said. “Unacceptable.”

Merritt told CNN on Monday that the “stand your ground” action does not apply to Ralph’s case.

“Under Missouri law, stand your ground is totally inapplicable to this case because there was no conversation, not from the suspect, not from the victim, and not from law enforcement, namely 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who had spoken to the shooter. posed a threat,” Merritt said.

A White House official told CNN that President Joe Biden spoke with Ralph and his mother, Cleonagby, on the phone Monday night.

Biden also noted how “lucky” Ralph was because his mother was not only a nurse but also a physical therapist.

The conversation also touched on their family, their love of music, and Ralph’s dream of pursuing a degree in chemical engineering at Texas A&M University — something Biden “lightly tried to convince him that (the president’s alma mater) Tesla Hua University is a better choice,” the official said.

“The president also committed to continuing to fight gun violence,” the official said.

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