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Ralph Yarl – update: Andrew Lester’s family ‘disgusted’ by shooting as stand your ground laws in spotlight

Ralph Yarl’s recovery continues at home in Kansas City while a GoFundMe to help pay his medical bills has now topped $3.4m

Rachel Sharp,Graeme Massie,Namita Singh
Friday 21 April 2023 19:49 BST
Ralph Yarl: Prosecutors charge Kansas City homeowner for shooting teen

The family of suspected shooter Andrew Lester have said they are “disgusted” by the 84-year-old’s shooting of Black teenager Ralph Yarl.

Mr Lester’s grandson Klint Ludwig told CNN that “myself and my family stand with Ralph Yarl and seeking justice”.

“This is a horrible tragedy, it never should have happened,” he said.

Mr Ludwig also revealed details about his grandfather’s “racist comments” and interest in “QAnon-level conspiracy theories” prior to the 13 April shooting.

The 84-year-old is accused of shooting Ralph, 16, twice through the glass screen door of his home in Kansas City, Missouri, when the Black teenager accidentally called at the wrong home to pick up his brothers.

Ralph’s recovery is still ongoing, with attorney Lee Merritt sharing a photo of him back at home following his release from hospital.

Meanwhile, Mr Lester appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty to two felonies.

The shooting has led to protests and an outpouring of support for Ralph from celebrities and donors to a GoFundMe campaign, as the incident casts a renewed spotlight on America’s “stand your ground” laws and whether they help to fuel random shootings and racism.


CATCH UP: Prosecutors charge Andrew Lester for shooting Ralph Yarl

Ralph Yarl: Prosecutors charge Kansas City homeowner for shooting teen
Graeme Massie19 April 2023 05:11

Hundreds stage rally in support of Ralph Yarl

Rachel Sharp19 April 2023 14:15

Ralph Yarl GoFundMe tops $3.2m after Black teen shot in the head by white homeowner

A GoFundMe campaign launched to support a Black teenager who was shot in the head by a white homeowner when he accidentally went to the wrong address has soared past $3.2m in donations.

Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old high school junior, was shot twice last Thursday when he went to pick up his younger twin brothers from a friend’s house on 13 April.

Donations have been flooding in on a GoFundMe campaign, set up to help pay for the boy’s recovery.

As of around 9am ET on Tuesday – just two days after its launch – a staggering $3.2m had been raised.

Read the full story:

Ralph Yarl GoFundMe tops $2.8m after Black teen shot for ringing doorbell

Donations have been flooding in to help Ralph Yarl and his family pay for his medical bills and recovery after Kansas City shooting

Rachel Sharp19 April 2023 14:35

Update given on GoFundMe

In an update on Tuesday on the GoFundMe page, the family thanked people for their support and donations for the teenager and confirmed that he is now recovering from his injuries at home.

“Ralph is currently at home with the family. He can ambulate and communicate. A true miracle considering what he survived.Each day is different. He has a long road ahead,” the GoFundMe read.

“However, we are very thankful that he is still here with us. I’ve been taking the time to read the emails and comments to Ralph. It warms our hearts to see him smile at all the kind words. Thank you so much for loving Ralph.”

Ralph Yarl GoFundMe tops $3.2m
Ralph Yarl GoFundMe tops $3.2m (GoFundMe)
Rachel Sharp19 April 2023 14:55

Andrew Lester to be arraigned in court today

Suspect Andrew Lester is scheduled to be appear in court today for the shooting of Ralph Yarl.

The 84-year-old will appear for his arraignment at 1.30pm local time at Clay County Courthouse.

He is charged with two felonies over the shooting of the Black teen and faces up to life in prison.

Rachel Sharp19 April 2023 16:45

Ralph Yarl GoFundMe tops $3.2m

As of 2pm ET, the GoFundMe organised to support the family of Ralph Yarl has raised more than $3.261m.

Graeme Massie19 April 2023 19:23

Andrew Lester pleads not guilty to shooting Ralph Yarl

Andrew Lester, the 84-year-old white man accused of shooting Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager, has pleaded not guilty in court.

Andrew D Lester
Andrew D Lester (Clay County Jail)
Graeme Massie19 April 2023 19:48

More details from inside Clay County Court

Mr Lester, 84, used a cane as he made his first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon, according to KCUR.

After he entered two not guilty pleas to first-degree assault and armed criminal action, the judge also set his next court date for 1 June at 1.30pm.

Mr Lester will remain out on bond but is banned from possessing any type of weapon, must have no contact with Ralph Yarl’s family and his cell phone will be monitored.

Graeme Massie19 April 2023 19:56

Ralph Yarl to reportedly meet with Ahmaud Arbery’s mother

Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by three white men as he jogged through their neighbourhood in Georgia.

Now his mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, who is also represented by lawyer Lee Merritt, asked if he could organise a meeting so she could give her moral support to the Yarl family, according to TMZ.

Attorney Lee Merritt speaks at rally in Kansas City for Ralph Yarl
Attorney Lee Merritt speaks at rally in Kansas City for Ralph Yarl (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Graeme Massie19 April 2023 19:59

Justice Department investigating shooting as hate crime, says Ralph Yarl’s lawyer

Lee Merritt, the lawyer for Ralph Yarl’s family, told reporters outside Clay County Courthouse that the shooting was now being probed by the Justice Department as a hate crime.

“Before I even made it to Kansas City, we reached out to the Department of Justice, myself and my co-counsel Ben Crump, we have some longstanding relationships there,” Mr Merritt said, according to KCUR.

“We thought that this was something the DOJ should be looking into. They are (looking into it). It’s under investigation, they’ve received our complaint and now they’re looking into it.”

Mr Merritt was speaking after Andrew Lester pleaded not guilty to shooting the 16-year-old high school student.

“I want him to spend the rest of his life in prison,” Mr Merritt said. “All of his assets are going to become Ralph’s.”

Graeme Massie19 April 2023 20:00

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