The octogenarian charged with shooting a 16-year-old boy at his front door — after the teen rang his doorbell — was arrested and released on bail.
Kansas City Police said Andrew Lester, 84, turned himself in on Tuesday, about five days after he shot Yarl in the head and arm outside his Missouri home.
The Clay County Prosecutor’s Office charged the man with first-degree assault and armed criminal action on Monday, with an arrest warrant issued shortly afterward.
He was taken to the Clay County Detention Center Tuesday afternoon and was released shortly after on a $200,000 bond.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Lester told police he was going to bed when Yarl rang his doorbell on Thursday night, alarming the man.
He claimed he was “scared to death,” thinking someone was trying to break into his home when he fired at Yarl, who he described as a “black male approximately 6 feet tall pulling on the storm door handle.”
Yarl, however, maintains that he never touched the door and was outside the home to pick up his younger brothers, who were waiting for him at a nearby address.
Yarl told police he was instantly shot in the head, and when he fell to the ground, Lester shot him in the arm.
Andrew Lester was arrested for the shooting of teenager Ralph Yarl in Kansas City.
Yarl was shot in the head after ringing Lester’s doorbell.
Yarl claimed Lester warned, “Don’t come around here,” as he fled, fearing he would be shot yet again.
The teen was discharged from the hospital days later, and his mother says he does little but cry in bed thinking about the shooting.
Lester’s arrest also came following days of protest and outcry.
What we know about the Ralph Yarl shooting
Who is Yarl?
The black Missouri teen is “one of the top bass clarinet players in Missouri,” according to his family. The 16-year-old is also a part of his school’s Technology Student Association and Science Olympiad Team.
Why was he shot?
Yarl was shot in the head after he rang the wrong doorbell while trying to pick up his twin brothers at a home in Kansas City, Missouri.
Police said Yarl sustained life-threatening injuries when he was shot, and hundreds of protesters rallied after the gunman, 84-year-old Andrew D. Lester, was initially released.
The teen’s aunt talked about the terrifying incident on a GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $900,000.
What could happen to Lester?
The homeowner could spend the rest of his life in jail after prosecutors charged him with two felony counts.
Lester was charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action for the shooting, which had a “racial component,” according to the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges carry 10 to 30 years behind bars, or life in prison, prosecutors said.
The two felony charges facing Lester carry 10 to 30 years behind bars, or life in prison, prosecutors said.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Lester claimed he was defending himself, which would play into Missouri’s “Stand your ground” law.
According to the state’s self-defense law, a person may use physical and deadly force against another if they have a reason to believe that such force is necessary to protect “against death, serious physical injury or any forcible felony.”
Yarl was attempting to pick up his siblings when he rang the wrong doorbell.
Missouri’s “castle doctrine” specifically allows such action to be used in a person’s home, which will likely play into the case as Lester was inside his house when he fired at Yarl, who was standing outside.
It remains to be seen if Lester will be able to argue that he faced a legitimate threat when Yarl rang his doorbell.