In a rare early response to a shooting victim, President Biden placed a call on Monday to Ralph Yarl, the 16-year-old Black youth shot in Kansas City after reportedly going to the wrong house. While the actual conversation has not been released, the White House said in a statement Tuesday that the president “spoke by phone to Ralph Yarl and shared his hope for swift recovery.”
Yarl, who was shot twice last Thursday, once in the head and once in the arm, and hospitalized in critical condition, is now recovering at home. He had gone to the wrong address to pick up his younger brothers when he was shot by the 84- or 85-year-old homeowner Andrew Lester. On Monday, Lester was charged with two felonies: first-degree assault and armed criminal action. He is not in custody.
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According to Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson, there “was a racial component to this case.” If convicted of the first count, a Class A felony, Lester could receive between 10 to 30 years to life. For the second count, he would get between three to 15 years, Thompson said.
“Ralph is alive and recovering,” said attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family with Lee Merritt.