After the tragic shooting of Ralph Yarl last Thursday, Yarl’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, started a GoFundMe this Sunday and has already raised over $2.6 million.
While trying to pick up his younger siblings from a friend’s house, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl showed up at the wrong home and encountered 85-year-old homeowner Andrew Lester. Yarl rang the doorbell, unaware that he was at the wrong house, and waited for someone to come to the door. Yarl’s lawyers, Lee Merritt and Ben Crump, took an official statement from Yarl while he was in the hospital on Friday.
In this statement Yarl said that he heard some “rustling around going on in the house” before the door was opened and he was face to face with Lester who addressed him by saying “Don’t come back around here,” immediately followed by the firing of his weapon. Lester’s first shot hit Ralph Yarl in the head, causing his skull to crack and traumatic brain injury; but the homeowner fired a second shot into Yarl’s arm while he was still on the ground.
Not much is known about the status of the investigation so far, but it is known that as of Monday, Lester was still not in custody. Kansas City has since had multiple protests; Police Chief, Stacey Graves, said “I want everyone to know that I am listening, and I understand the concern we are receiving from the community.”
Ralph Yarl is known as a high-achieving student, a musician, and a beloved friend, son, and brother. According to a statement from his father, Yarl was released from the hospital on Monday, is “responding and it’s a slow recovery, but he’s making good progress,” and is recovering at home.
The generous donations from friends and strangers alike will help the family pay Yarl’s medical bills and additional funds will go toward Yarl’s college fund and his planned graduation trip to West Africa.