Ralph Yarl Begins Senior Year Of High School Four Months After Being Shot In The Head While Picking Up Brothers
Ralph Yarl was doing his big brother duty, picking up his younger siblings when he was shot in the head by a man whose home he went to accidentally in Kansas City, Missouri.
Four months later, according to AP, Yarl has begun his senior year of high school and the man who shot him is facing first-degree assault and armed criminal action charges.
Andrew Lester, 84, pled not guilty and is scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing on August 31. Lester, who is white, told police that he shot Yarl—twice—through the door because he was “scared to death” that the Black person standing on his porch was there to rob him.
He fired several shots at the teenager; striking Yarl in the arm and head. Yarl’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, says the teenager’s near-death experience as well as the attention he received made him anxious to return to normal.
“He was ready,” she said. “Ralph was ready to just go back to just being a teenager.” Yarl celebrated his 17th birthday in May and spent the summer completing an engineering internship.
A GoFundMe campaign in his honor raised over $3.5 million. Another fundraiser set up by musicians in the United States and Canada resulted in the budding musician receiving his very own bass clarinet.
“As musicians, we know about the impact that a high-quality musical instrument can have on our abilities to express ourselves to the world, and about the life-giving motivation that comes from this,” the fundraiser read. “We also know the unique power that comes when we are supported by our fellow musicians. We’d like to extend both of these gifts to Ralph.”
Yarl will also head to The White House, thanks to a personal invitation from President Joe Biden; a date hasn’t been set yet.
A week into his senior year, the 17-year-old will face the man who shot him for the first time since the night of April 13, 2023.