An 84-year-old white man, Andrew Lester, has been released on bail after being charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action for shooting a black teenager, Ralph Yarl, twice through the door of his Missouri home. Lester, a retired aircraft mechanic, had handed himself over to Clay County’s Detention Centre on Tuesday, April 18. He was released after posting 10% of his $200,000 bail, with conditions that prohibit him from possessing any weapons and having contact with Yarl. Police found a .32 caliber revolver with two spent shell casings still in the cylinder after officers arrived at the scene.
Ralph Yarl was shot twice, in the head and the arm, after mistakenly ringing Lester’s doorbell, believing that he was meant to pick up his younger twin brothers. Lester said he was “scared to death” after seeing Yarl standing at his front door. Zachary Thompson, Clay County prosecutor, has confirmed that there was a “racial component” to the case. Yarl’s legal team is not aware of what this element is. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has said that Ralph was “shot because he was existing while black.” Yarl was discharged from the hospital, and his family is grateful for his recovery. Lester faces life in jail if found guilty.