Ralph Yarl was trying to pick up his younger brothers from their friend’s house on April 13 in Kansas City, Missouri, when he mixed up the address and showed up at the wrong house. When the 16-year-old rang the doorbell, he was met by the owner of the house, who opened the door and shot Yarl in the head, according to prosecutors.

Andrew D. Lester, the 84-year-old homeowner, pleaded not guilty to felony charges in relation to the shooting on Wednesday, per NBC News.

After being shot, Yarl was able to make it to the house of a neighbor, who called for help.

Lester “was taken into custody by the police for 24 hours, then released without charges on Friday,” The New York Times reported. But then on Monday, he was charged with assault.

Yarl is recovering at home and reports expect him to make a full physical recovery. A GoFundMe fundraiser has raised nearly $3.2 million that his aunt says will “go towards his medical bills and therapy,” and any additional funds will go toward his education at Texas A&M University, according to BBC.

Protests erupt over the weekend over the shooting of Ralph Yarl

Protests erupted over the weekend over the incident, with protesters marching to Lester’s home on Sunday. Yarl is a 16-year-old Black teenager who is an honor student and all-state band member.

This undated photo provided by Ben Crump Law on Monday, April 17, 2023, shows Ralph Yarl, the teenager shot by a homeowner in Kansas City, Mo. | Ben Crump Law via Associated Press

Lester is a white man, and the prosecutor on the case, Zachary Thompson, said: “There was a racial component to the case,” per the Times.

With a conviction, the charge could deliver a life sentence to Lester.

Thompson said Yarl did not cross the threshold of Lester’s home, and Yarl told police in the hospital that Lester told him, “Don’t come around here,” Reuters reported.

Missouri’s “stand your ground” law does allow “homeowners to use physical force to defend themselves against suspected intruders,” but the defendant will have to prove that he believed the threat from Yarl was necessary enough to use a gun to protect himself, per Reuters.

The shooting “has put renewed focus on ‘stand your ground’ laws around the country,” NBC News reported.

Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted, “No child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell.”

The civil rights attorneys for Yarl, Ben Crump and Lee Merritt, said in a statement, “Gun violence against unarmed Black individuals must stop. Our children should feel safe, not as though they are being hunted,” per ABC News.

Woman shot and killed after pulling into the wrong driveway in upstate New York

On Saturday, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was looking for a friend’s house in rural upstate New York, along with three other friends. She accidentally pulled into the wrong driveway and was shot and killed by a man sitting on his front porch, authorities said, according to CNN.

On Monday, 65-year-old Kevin Monahan was charged with second-degree murder in connection to Gillis’ death, per CNN.

“There’s clearly no threat from anyone in the vehicle,” Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said, per BBC. “There’s no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened.”

Two cheerleaders shot after one tried getting into the wrong car

Two teenage cheerleaders were shot in a supermarket parking lot after one attempted to get into the wrong car, thinking it was hers.

One of the girls was shot twice and was critically injured in the incident, while the other was treated at the scene. Payton Washington is currently hospitalized in critical condition, CNN reported.

In this photo provided by Baylor University, Payton Washington poses in an undated photo wearing Baylor University attire. Washington was one of two cheerleaders shot and wounded by a man in a Texas supermarket parking lot after one of them said she mistakenly got into his car thinking it was her own. | Baylor University via Associated Press
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Fellow cheerleader Heather Roth opened the car door thinking it was hers after carpooling to practice and saw a man in the passenger seat, so she started to get out of the car to go back with her friends. The man was identified by police as 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr.

According to NPR, “Roth said the man approached their vehicle, and she had just rolled down her window to apologize when he started shooting.”

Heather Shearer, managing partner of the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company, where the girls train, said Washington experienced a ruptured spleen, which got removed, but she also told CNN she is expected to make a full physical recovery.

“I know mental wounds also leave scars,” Felecia Mulkey, head acrobatics and tumbling coach at Baylor University, where Washington had committed to compete in the fall, told CNN. “We want to lift up the athletes and their families during this difficult time. We love Payton and we wish her well as she recovers.”

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