Ralph Yarl Earns Spot On Missouri All-State Band Less Than a Year After Being Shot For Ringing Wrong Doorbell

He was shot twice by Andrew Lester after going to the wrong house in April.

Less than a year after being shot in the head because he mistakenly knocked on the wrong door, Ralph Yarl was named to the Missouri All-State band.

According to local station KCTV, Yarl, a bass clarinetist and senior, was one of four to earn a spot in the All-State Band representing Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo., He will perform with other budding musicians from across the state at the Missouri Music Educators Association annual conference. The event will take place at Lake of the Ozarks later this month. On Facebook, the official announcement was made by the North Kansas City School District.

“Bravo to Eliza Cockrell and Stephen Kwon from Northtown, and Ralph Yarl and Carter Walters from Staley! They’ve earned a spot in the 2024 Missouri All-State Orchestra or Band and will perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association annual conference in January at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Lake of the Ozarks,” the statement read. 

Along with his musical acumen, Yarl is also one of the top students in the nation.  In October 2023,  Yark was recognized as a National Merit Commended Student after scoring in the top 3-4 percent of students in the country who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.


Yarl’s accomplishments are all the more remarkable considering that he nearly lost his life after being shot at close range.

The incident took place on April 13 when Yarl went to the wrong house to pick up his younger brothers from a friend’s house mistaking the neighborhood's 115th Terrace for 115th Street.

When Andrew Lester, 84, armed with a .32 caliber Smith and Wesson 1888 revolver responded to his doorbell being rung,  he opened the door and shot Yarl twice, first in the head and then in the arm.

After the shooting drew national attention, Lester was eventually charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on  April 20, 2023.

Yarl testified in court in August that after he was shot in the head, he fell to the ground and was shot again in the arm.

The same month, a judge ordered Lester to stand trial which was scheduled for October 7.

If found guilty, Lester could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Missouri is one of about 30 states with laws that allow its residents to respond with physical force when they feel threatened.

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