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Prosecutors in Kansas City, Missouri, have filed felony charges against the homeowner accused of shooting Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who was shot when he went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings last week.

After the April 13 shooting, which left the teenage boy with gunshot wounds to his head and arm, Ralph told police while he was hospitalized that he did not pull on the door, according to the document.

It was “nothing short of a miracle” that Ralph was discharged from the hospital, but “he’s not out of the woods yet,” his attorney Ben Crump told CNN on Monday.

After news of the unprovoked shooting circulated among Kansas City, the city and community members showed up to let their voices be heard.

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Another unarmed Black male shooting

The shooting of the unarmed Black teenager captured national attention as it drew outrage online and fueled protests in Kansas City. Protesters have marched through the city chanting, “Justice for Ralph” and calling for the shooter’s arrest.

Lester was not in custody as of Monday night, though a warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to authorities.

Mugshot of Andrew Lester provided by Kansas City police when he was booked into jail on April 13, 2023. 

On the night of the shooting, the 84-year-old man was taken into custody but was released less than two hours later, two representatives at the Kansas City Police Department detention unit previously told CNN.

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

“He merely rang the doorbell. That was it,” Crump said. “And the owner of the home shoots through the door, hitting him in the head and then shoots him a second time.”

On the night of the shooting

Lester was lying down in bed when he heard the doorbell ring and picked up his .32 caliber revolver, Lester told police, according to a probable cause statement.

He then went to his home’s front entrance, which includes an interior door and a glass exterior door – both of which were locked.

CNN reports Lester opened the interior door and “saw a Black male approximately 6 feet tall pulling on the exterior storm door handle,” Lester told police.

“He stated he believed someone was attempting to break into the house, and shot twice within a few seconds of opening the door,” the probable cause statement reads.

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“He believed he was protecting himself from a physical confrontation and could not take the chance of the male coming in,” the document reads.

According to court documents, Yarl said Lester told, “Don’t come around here” following the shooting. Yarl went to multiple homes asking for help and telling people to call police, who arrived shortly after.

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

Police spoke with Ralph while he was being treated at a hospital, where he told themhis mother asked him to pick up his brothers at 1100 NE 115th Street, according to the document, which notes the actual address they were staying at was 1100 NE 115th Terrace. 

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

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

Ralph said he got up and ran to keep from being shot, and he heard the man say, “Don’t come around here,” the document says. He then went to multiple nearby homes asking for help and telling people to call police.

The boy told police he did not pull on the door, according to the probable cause statement.

Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson has said that “there was a racial component to this case,” but did not elaborate.

This story is developing.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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