KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – In just over a day, more than $2 million has been raised for a Missouri teen who was shot after going to the wrong address. As of Tuesday morning, more than $2.7 million had been raised through a GoFundMe campaign to support 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.
Kansas City police say just before 10 p.m. on Thursday, Ralph was picking up his younger siblings at a home on N.E. 115th Terrace when he mistakenly went to a house on N.E. 115th Street.
Ralph didn’t have a phone with him and went to the wrong block, his aunt, Faith Spoonmore, wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay medical bills. Spoonmore wrote that Yarl pulled into the driveway and rang the doorbell.
The homeowner allegedly came to the door and shot the teenager in the head before shooting him again, The Associated Press reported. Police would not confirm to Nexstar’s WDAF how many times or where Yarl was shot, but said he was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The homeowner, later identified as Andrew D. Lester, 85, was taken into police custody for questioning, then later released pending further investigation.
Then late Monday afternoon, Clay County Prosecutor Zachary Thompson announced that Lester, who is white, is facing charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. The announcement came just hours after Kansas City police submitted the case to prosecutors.
Missouri is among roughly 30 states with “Stand Your Ground” laws, which allow for the use of deadly force in self-defense, but the prosecutor determined the shooting was not in self-defense.
Following the charging announcement, Mayor Quinton Lucas released a statement saying, “I am relieved to see this first step towards justice for Ralph Yarl with today’s felony charges. Now we must remain engaged through trial.”
On Sunday, nearly 1,000 people marched through Missouri’s Northland in support of the injured teen.
Family confirmed with WDAF that Ralph has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home.
“Life looks a lot different right now,” his aunt wrote. ” … He has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.