More Than $3M Raised For Ralph Yarl Who Survived Shooting After Ringing Wrong Doorbell

The unarmed Black Kansas City teen was shot in the head in an incident with ‘a racial component,’ prosecutor says.

Many are calling it a miracle that Ralph Yarl survived getting shot twice when he went to the wrong house in Kansas City, Mo., on April 13 to pick up his younger brothers.

A photo of the Black teen in a hospital bed with his head bandaged, seemingly unconscious, ignited outrage, as the accused gunman, an 84-year-old White man, walked free for days before his arrest.

CBS News reports that Andrew Lester faces arraignment Wednesday (April 19) following his surrender to authorities at the Clay County Detention Center on felony charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. The assault charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison. Armed criminal action has a penalty range of 3-15 years in prison.

Clay County, Mo., Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said “a racial component” was involved in the case. Lester is accused of shooting Yarl, 16, two times, first in the left forehead and then the right arm after he fell. Lester claimed he was “scared to death” in a statement to police, when he saw a Black male, and thought someone was trying to break into his house. The two didn’t exchange any words, but Yarl said that he heard Lester shout “don’t come around here.”

By Wednesday (April 19), more than 85,000 donations, exceeding $3.1 million, contributed to a GoFundMe campaign to help pay Yarl’s medical, college and other expenses.

In her first interview after the shooting, Yarl's mother, Cleo Nagbe sat down with her attorney, Lee Merritt, on Tuesday (April 18) and told CBS Mornings’ co-host Gayle King that her son is now recovering at home with a team of medical professionals.

Nagbe, a nurse, said the bullet in his head was not removed for up to 12 hours. He’s now able to communicate but mostly stares and cries.

"You can see that he is just replaying the situation over and over again. And that just doesn't stop my tears either, because when you see your kid just sits there and constantly he just— tears are just rolling from both sides of his eyes, there's nothing you can say to him," Nagbe said.

The police first took Lester into custody shortly after the April 13 shooting but released him after a few hours, which prompted protests outside Lester’s house.

Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves explained to reporters Sunday (April 16) that Missouri law allows the police to detain suspects for a maximum of 24 hours for a felony without formally making an arrest. She said that more work was needed at that point to investigate the case before presenting evidence to the prosecutor. Thompson announced Monday that his office issued an arrest warrant for Lester on the two felony charges.

Alleged shooter Andrew Lester

Accused Shooter Of Kansas City Black Teen Will Face Two Felony Charges, Officials Announce

Yarl, a gifted musician and scholar, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in chemical engineering, according to his aunt, Faith Spoonmore. He’s a member of his school’s Technology Student Association, on the Science Olympiad team and a 2022 Missouri scholar academy alumni. Yarl, who plays multiple instruments, is a section leader in the school’s marching band and earned Missouri All-State Band recognition.

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