Man charged with two felonies in shooting of Ralph Yarl
UPDATE (1:15 p.m. 4/18): Andrew Lester has been taken into custody.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Clay County prosecutor has filed criminal charges against Andrew Lester in the shooting of Ralph Yarl.
Zachary Thompson said Monday afternoon that his office has charged the 84-year-old Lester with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.
Yarl was trying to pick up his siblings from a house Thursday evening in the 1100 block of NE 115th Terrace. Instead, he ended up at NE 115th St. After knocking at the door, he was shot.
Thompson stated the firearm used was a .32 revolver.
The prosecutor added that the maximum punishment for the assault charge is life in prison. The range of punishment for armed criminal action is between 3-15 years.
Court records state that, just before midnight Friday, investigators at the scene found the front storm door glass broken and blood on the front porch. Police also saw blood in the street.
A witness told officers they had heard gunshots, then screaming from Yarl and saw the 16-year-old knock on neighbors’ doors asking for help.
Police took Lester into custody. He told police that he had just laid down that night when his doorbell rang. Lester, who lives by himself, said he picked up his revolver and went to his front door. He told investigators he saw a man about 6 feet tall pulling on the exterior door and thought someone was trying to break into his house.
ALSO READ: Ralph Yarl released from hospital and recovering at home, family says
According to court records, Lester stated that he fired two shots within a few seconds of opening the door. He saw the teen run away and called 911 from his home phone. Lester told police there were no words exchanged and that the teen had not said anything prior to opening the door.
According to court records, Lester told police “it was the last thing he wanted to do, but was ‘scared to death’ due to the male’s size and Lester’s age (84) and inability to defend himself.”
The document also included information from what Yarl told law enforcement.
Yarl said that he had gone to pick up his brothers, but went to the wrong address. He rang the doorbell and waited some time before the man inside opened the door, holding a firearm. Yarl said he did not pull on the door.
Yarl said he “was immediately shot in the head and fell to the ground.” Then, he said that “while on the ground he was shot a second time in the arm.”
The teen told police the man inside, later identified as Lester, said: “Don’t come around here.” Yarl also indicated to investigators he ran to multiple homes asking for them to call 911.
Yarl sustained gunshot wounds to his left forehead and right arm.
An arrest warrant has been issued and a bond has been set at $200,000. Lester had not been arrested as of 5 p.m.
ALSO READ: ‘This is tragic beyond any articulation’: Ben Crump addresses shooting of Ralph Yarl
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