Update on Ralph Yarl

On April 13th, Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old boy, was shot multiple times by a homeowner when he accidentally knocked on the wrong door. According to The New York Times, that Thursday evening, Ralph Yarl headed out to pick up his younger twin brothers from a friend’s house. However, he accidentally confused the address Northeast 115 Terrace with Northeast 115th Street and ended up at the wrong doorstep. 

A white man, 84-year-old Andrew Lester, answered the door and without exchanging any words, the prosecutor said, shot young Ralph Yarl in the head through the glass door. Ralph fell backwards due to the impact of the bullet. As Ralph was lying on the ground, Andrew Lester proceeded to shoot him a second time in the arm. Ralph was able to drag himself over, bleeding heavily, to a nearby house. The neighbors called emergency services immediately.

He is our miracle. We have heard these types of stories many times, and unfortunately, most black boys are not alive to get another chance.

Andrew Lester was taken into custody on Friday, April 14th, and was held for 24 hours before being released without charges. This caused an outrage in the community; Andrew Lester’s residence was surrounded by protesters that Sunday. MSNBC said in an interview with the family that Andrew Lester has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Miraculously, young Ralph was released from hospital that Sunday, April 16th. He is recovering safely at home with his loved ones. He is suffering emotional trauma from the event, with his mother saying, in an interview with MSNBC, that “at night there is constant recurring of the incident that prevents him from sleeping.” 

This tragic and avoidable event has caught worldwide attention, and some people are supporting Ralph and his family by donating to this GoFundMe: Ralph Yarl; the fund has raised over 3 million dollars in order to cover expenses and provide financial support to the family. 

According to messages from his family on the Go Fund Me page, “Last summer, Ralph attended Missouri Scholar’s Academy, where he got a full college life experience. His goal is to attend Texas A&M to major in chemical Engineering. When asked how he plans to get into this university, he said, ‘Well, if they have a scholarship for music or academics, I know I can get it.’…Ralph was looking forward to graduating high school and finally getting the opportunity to visit West Africa before starting college…

Life looks a lot different right now. Even though he is doing well physically, he has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally. The trauma that he has to endure and survive is unimaginable. He is our miracle. We have heard these types of stories many times, and unfortunately, most black boys are not alive to get another chance.”