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Family of man who shot Ralph Yarl break silence to claim 'it should never have happened'

Katherine Sidnell

Published 
| Last updated 

Family of man who shot Ralph Yarl break silence to claim 'it should never have happened'

Featured Image Credit: Clay County Detention Center/Facebook

The family of Andrew Lester have broken their silence over the shooting of Ralph Yarl.

Lester, 84, has been charged with shooting the 16-year-old Yarl, after the teenager innocently mistook the home for another property and knocked on his door.

As Lester now awaits his trial, his family has spoken out about the horrific incident.

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Ralph Yarl was tragically shot on April 13. Credit: Facebook/GoFundMe
Ralph Yarl was tragically shot on April 13. Credit: Facebook/GoFundMe

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 base clarinet players.

On the day of the shooting, Yarl been sent to pick up his twin younger brothers from 115th Terrace, but mistakenly went to 115th Street and knocked on the door.

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It was here that Yarl was brutally gunned down, shot once in the head and then in the arm by retired aircraft mechanic Lester.

After extensive medical treatment, Yarl has thankfully returned home, but it’s still unclear whether he will ever realise those dreams after the attack.

His story has shocked millions across the world. Credit: Facebook
His story has shocked millions across the world. Credit: Facebook

His story has caused outrage across the world, including in his hometown of Kansas City, where students at his school staged a mass-walk out in solidarity with their classmate.

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Mayor Quinton also shared his horror at the tragedy, telling CNN that the teenager was 'shot because he was existing while black'.

Many celebrities have also shared the teenager’s GoFundMe page on social media, with donations towards Yarl’s medical care having exceeded over $3 million dollars (£2.41m).

It was reportedly created by Ralph's aunt Faith Spoonmore, who has been giving regular updates on his condition on the page.

Though Yarl is out of the hospital, he has a long road to recovery – both mentally and physically.

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Andrew Lester is facing life in prision for the offence. Credit: Clay County Detention Center
Andrew Lester is facing life in prision for the offence. Credit: Clay County Detention Center

Meanwhile, Lester has been charged with first-degree assault and is facing potential life imprisonment if convicted.

As the former air mechanic is due to have an arraignment on Wednesday, the local sheriff's office has set his bail at $200,000 with the condition that Lester is not allowed to own weapons of any kind or have any contact with Yarl.

Lester was released on Tuesday evening after posting 10 percent of his bail amount.

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Although his grandson, Daniel Ludwig, insists that his grandfather felt he was in danger, he told The Daily Beast that the shooting should have never occurred.

“It's just crazy. I wish it didn't happen” Ludwig said, telling the outlet that the houses in the area ‘all look the same’ as he spoke about the incident.

He added: “I’d go to visit my grandpa, and I would get lost on those streets.”

Topics: News, Crime, US News, Ralph Yarl

Katherine Sidnell
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