'Disgusted' grandson of man who shot Ralph Yarl speaks out
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Featured Image Credit: CNN/Clay County Detention Center
The grandson of Andrew Lester, the man who shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl for ringing his doorbell, has spoken out against him.
Andrew Lester, 84, is due to appear in court after shooting Yarl, a Black teenager, in the head and arm when he accidentally went to the wrong address.
Ralph, 16, had been sent to 115th Terrace to pick up his younger brothers, but mistakenly went to Mr Lester's residence at 115th Street.
Andrew Lester has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action.
If convicted, he could face life behind bars.
For now, though, he's free on bond until his next court appearance in June.
Speaking to CNN about the horrific incident, Mr Lester's grandson Klint Ludwig said he was 'disgusted' when he heard the news.
"I thought it was terrible. Myself and my family, we stand with Ralph Yarl in seeking justice. It was a horrible tragedy, it never should have happened."
Klint noted that his grandfather had held 'racist tendencies and beliefs', which had caused them to fall out in recent years.
"I feel like a lot of people of that generation are caught up in this 24 hour news cycle of fear and paranoia perpetuated by some other news stations," Klint commented.
"He was fully into that, he'd sit and watch Fox News all day every day, blaring in his living room. And I think that stuff really enforces this negative view of minority groups and reinforces and galvanises racist people and their beliefs."
Asked what sort of beliefs his grandfather had gotten wrapped up in, Klint said that 'a lot of it was the QAnon-level conspiracies.'
Speaking to The Kansas Star, Klint also noted that his grandfather had fallen down a 'right-wing rabbit hole' about abortion, alleged election fraud, racist stereotypes, and the NRA 'stand your ground' laws.
"When I heard what happened, I was appalled and shocked that it transpired, but I didn’t disbelieve that it was true," he admitted.
"The second I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, I could see him doing that.'"
A GoFundMe, set up by a woman who identified herself as Ralph Yarl's aunt has now raised over $3.4 million for the teenager's recovery.
Prior to the horrific shooting, Yarl had been attending Staley High School and was an outstanding student who wanted to study chemical engineering at Texas A&M.
As well as an academic student, he was also a gifted musician – becoming one of Missouri’s top bass clarinet players.