December 3, 2023
Andrew Lester was charged with two felony counts Monday in connection with the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl.
Andrew Lester was charged with two felony counts Monday in connection with the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl. (Kansas City Police Department)

Andrew Lester, who was charged with two felony counts Monday for allegedly shooting Ralph Yarl, told police the night of the shooting that he was “scared to death” due to the 16-year-old’s size, according to probable cause document released by Clay County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

On April 13 around 9:50 p.m., a witness said a car pulled into the driveway of Lester’s residence, the document reads.

In an interview with police, Lester said he had just lain down on his bed that night when he heard the doorbell ring, the document says. Lester told police he got up, picked up his Smith and Wesson .32-caliber revolver and went to the front door, where both the interior door and the storm door were locked, the document reads. 

When he opened the interior door, he saw a Black male who was approximately 6 feet tall pulling at the storm door, the document says. He told police that he thought he was trying to break into the house and “shot twice within a few seconds of opening the door,” the document reads. He then called 911, the document reads.  

Lester told police that he never saw Ralph before and that they didn’t exchange words during the incident, the document reads.

“Lester was visibly upset and repeatedly expressed concern for the victim,” according to the document.  

Police spoke with Ralph on Friday while he was being treated at Children’s Mercy Hospital for an informal interview, the document reads. Ralph told police his mother asked him to pick up his brothers at 1100 NE 115 St., although the actual address they were staying at was 1100 NE 115th Terrace, the document reads.  

When he arrived, he said he pressed the doorbell and waited for a while, a man eventually opened the door and immediately shot him in the head, the document reads. Ralph got up and started running away, and he heard the man say, “Don’t come around here,” the document reads.  

He then went to multiple residences asking for help, where he was able to get someone to call 911, the document reads. Ralph suffered gunshot wounds on his left forehead and right arm, the document reads.  

 Police recovered a blood sample from the front porch, as well as a fingerprint from the door, the document reads. Police went to Ralph’s home on Monday to conduct another interview but weren’t able to find anyone, the document reads.  


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