84-year-old man charged with shooting Black teen turns self in, posts bond

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 84-year-old white man accused of shooting a Black teenager who mistakenly rang his doorbell on Thursday night has surrendered to authorities to face charges, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

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Andrew Lester faces a first-degree assault and an armed criminal action charge. He was booked into jail one day after Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced the charges against him.

Update 4:53 p.m. EDT April 18: Andrew Lester, 84, posted bail Tuesday afternoon, hours after he surrendered to police, WDAF-TV reported.

Lester was released after a judge had set bail at $200,000, according to the television station. As a condition of his release, Lester is not allowed to possess weapons of any kind and may not have any contact with Ralph Yarl, 16, the teen who was shot at the Kansas City residence, or his family.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: If he’s convicted, Lester could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Family members and attorneys said Ralph Yarl, 16, was going to pick up his younger brothers from their friend’s home on Thursday night when he went to the wrong house and rang the doorbell. At a news conference Monday, Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said evidence showed that Lester fired two shots through a glass door, hitting Yarl in the head and the arm.

The incident happened just before 10 p.m. on Thursday. Police said they took Lester into custody after the shooting but soon released him pending further investigation.

“The probable cause statement indicates that the victim in this case did not cross the threshold,” Thompson said. “The probable cause statement does not indicate that any words were exchanged.”

Some had pushed for hate crime charges to be filed against Lester, a move Thompson said he declined because of the more serious penalties carried by the assault and armed criminal action charges.

“As the prosecutor of Clay County, I can tell you there was a racial component to the case,” he said. He did not elaborate.

On a GoFundMe campaign started by Yarl’s aunt, family members said the 16-year-old was able to get up and run to a neighbor’s house after the shooting, though he was unable to get help until after he ran to two other houses.

Yarl’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, said Tuesday on “CBS Mornings” that her son — who was hospitalized and has since been released to recover at home — is doing “considerably well. Physically, mornings are hard, but his spirits are in a good place.”

Nagbe said her son was shot over his left eye and in the upper part of his right arm. She said the bullet in his head wasn’t taken out until after about 12 hours, “so that injury is extensive, and the residual affect of that injury is going to stay with him for quite a while.”

She added that, “He’s able to communicate mostly when he feels like it but mostly he just sits there and stares, and the buckets of tears just rolls down his eyes. You can see that he’s 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’s just, the tears are just rolling from both sides of his eyes — there’s nothing you can say to him.”

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