More than $3 million has so far been raised for Ralph Yarl, the Black teen who was shot twice by a White homeowner after he went to the wrong home and rang the doorbell. Per The Hill, the GoFundMe was set up for the 16-year-old by his aunt after Andrew Lester, 85, opened fire on him on April 13.
As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the shooting occurred as the Black teen was in the process of picking up his younger brothers. Yarl was later hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the head and arm.
The GoFundMe states that the funds raised will be used to cover Yarl’s medical bills and therapy. Any surplus funds will be invested into his college education at Texas A&M and also used to facilitate a trip to West Africa.
Yarl was outside Lester’s Kansas City home when the White man shot him from the inside. An attorney for Yarl’s family, Lee Merritt, said Yarl had gone to the supposed address to pick up his younger twin siblings after his mother asked him to. However, the teen mistook the 1100 block of Northeast 115th Street for a residence in Northeast 115th Terrace, police said, per NBC News.
Merritt also said Lester initially shot Yarl in the head before opening fire on him a second time as he was on the ground. The Black teen suffered a cracked skull and traumatic brain injury from the shot in his head.
After he was shot, Yarl’s aunt stated in the GoFundMe that the injured teen “had to run to 3 different homes before someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the ground with his hands up.” She also said her nephew was without a phone.
Lester, who has since been charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action, turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday, and was later released on bond. Though Clay County Prosecuting Attorney, Zachary Thompson, said there was a “racial component to this case”, he did not provide further details on that.
In an update on the fundraiser, Yarl’s aunt said the Black teen is currently at home, adding that he can “ambulate and communicate.” “A true miracle considering what he survived,” she added. “Each day is different. He has a long road ahead. However, we are very thankful that he is still here with us.”