The 84-year-old white man accused of shooting a black teen who rang his doorbell in Kansas City turned himself in on Tuesday and was released on bail, authorities said.
Andrew Lister, who faces two criminal charges — first-degree assault and armed felonious action — in the April 13 shooting of Ralph Jarl will be brought Wednesday afternoon, according to Jarl family attorney Lee Merritt. CNN has reached out to prosecutors to confirm the information.
reading He turned himself in in a detention centre Tuesday and then hours later he was released on bail. The terms of his $200,000 bond prohibit him from obtaining any type of weapon and he cannot have direct or indirect contact with Jarl or his family, according to Clay County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sarah Boyd.
Ralph, 16, was shot in the head and arm after he went to the wrong address to pick up his siblings. His family said he was released from the hospital but faces a difficult road to recovery.
Lister told police that he and the teenager did not exchange words before he shot him through a locked glass door.
CNN was unable to reach the homeowner. CNN has not yet determined whether Lister has a lawyer.
The criminal charges have brought some relief to Ralph’s family — but there’s still a long way to go, both with Ralph’s recovery and pursuit of justice, his aunt, Faith Spoonmore, told CNN.
“It’s not as simple as turning a page,” Spoonmore said Tuesday. “It is a little better that he – hopefully – will get a portion of what he deserves.”
But questions remain about why Lister was initially arrested but released just hours after the April 13 shooting.
“I share the anger and concern of many asking why,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas told CNN.
“In Missouri, you can wait 24 hours. Apparently here that was two or three hours, as they interrogated the suspect. He was able to go home that evening.”
Lister told police he shot immediately after answering the doorbell when he saw Ralph pull an outside doorknob, according to a probable cause document obtained by CNN.
Lister believed Ralph was trying to break into the house and was “scared to death” because of the boy’s size, according to the document.
Officers responded shortly before 10 p.m. that night after receiving reports of gunfire. When they arrive, they find an injured Ralph on the street.
The shooting leaves Ralph, who plays clarinet and is a bandleader at the school, with gunshot wounds to his head and arm. While he was admitted to the hospital, Ralph told police he had not pulled the door, according to the document.
His attorney, Ben Crump, told CNN on Monday that Ralph’s discharge from the hospital was “nothing short of a miracle.” But he is “not out of the woods yet.”
The shooting ignited protests in Kansas City and triggered memories of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery, two young black men who were shot and killed by men who later claimed self-defense.
Protesters marched in Kansas City, chanting “Justice for Ralph,” and demanded the shooter’s arrest.
The shooting also came days before a 20-year-old woman was shot and killed in upstate New York after she and three others accidentally turned into the wrong lane.
While Ralph’s attorneys say the teen never posed a threat to the shooter, it remains unclear whether Missouri law would be invoked in Lester’s defense case.
“Stand It Up” laws allow people to respond to threats or force without fear of criminal prosecution anywhere a person has a right to be present.
Ralph’s aunt challenged the notion that her nephew’s “size” could be a threat.
“I really don’t get how,” said Spoonmore. “I doubt Ralph is even 170 pounds. Ralph isn’t even 6 feet tall.”
She said she’s on a mission to help get justice for her nephew.
“I want Justice to look the same across the board,” Spoonmore said. “I want justice to look the same.”
The mayor said he believed the shooter had called Ralph a racist.
“This boy was killed because he was around while Black was,” said Lucas.
“There was a racial component to this case,” said Zachary Thompson, the Clay County District Attorney, but did not elaborate.
On the night of the shooting, Lester was taken into custody and released less than two hours later, two representatives for the Kansas City Police Detention Unit previously told CNN.
Thompson said Lister was released because the police realized there was more investigation to be done.
Crump’s lawyer asked why Lister had not been held longer.
“Nobody can tell if the roles were reversed, and you had a black guy shoot a 16-year-old white teenager just for ringing his doorbell that he wasn’t going to get caught. I mean, this citizen went home and slept in his bed the night after That I shot that little black kid in the head,” Crump told CNN.
“He just rang the doorbell,” the teen’s attorney said. “And the homeowner shot through the door, hit him in the head and then shot him again.”
The mayor said he did not even know the details of the case until several days after the shooting. While he believes race played a role in the shooting, he has acknowledged the work of police — including white officers — who helped prosecutors bring charges against Lester.
“We have officers, white officers for what it’s worth, who put in a lot of hard work to get this case file to the prosecutor after the charges were filed shortly thereafter,” Lucas said.
“However, to pretend that race isn’t part of this whole situation is to have your head in the sand.”
Before the shooting, Lister was lying in bed when he heard the doorbell ring and picked up a . 32-caliber handgun, he told police, according to a probable cause statement.
He then headed to the front entrance of his house, which included an interior door and an exterior glass door—both of which were locked.
Lester opened the interior door and “saw a black man about 6 feet tall pulling the handle of the exterior storm door,” Lester told police.
The probable cause statement read: “He stated that he believed someone was trying to break into the house, and fired twice within a few seconds of opening the door.”
“He believed he was protecting himself from physical confrontation and could not take the opportunity of the male entering,” the document reads.
Lister said he immediately called 911 after the shooting, according to the document.
Police spoke with Ralph while he was being treated at the hospital, where he told them his mother had told him to pick up his brothers at 1100 Northeast 115th Street, according to the document, which indicates the actual address they were staying at is 1100 Northeast 115th Street.
When he got to the house on 115th Street, Ralph said he rang the doorbell and waited a bit before a man finally opened the door and promptly shot himself in the head, causing him to fall, according to the document.
Ralph told police that while the young man was still on the ground, the man fired again, hitting him in the arm.
Ralph said he got up and ran to protect himself from being shot, and heard the man say, “Don’t come here,” the document says. Then he went to several nearby houses and asked for help and told people to call the police.
The boy told police he did not pull the door, according to a probable cause document.
Responding officers also found the front storm door glass at Lester’s home broken, and blood on the front porch and driveway, according to the document.
The teen had to “run to 3 different houses before someone finally agreed to help him after he was told to lie on the floor with his hands up,” a GoFundMe page started by Ralph’s aunt.
A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told CNN she called 911 after Ralph came to her door bleeding.
Since the shooter’s location was unknown at the time, she was directed to remain inside her home by an emergency operator for her own safety. She said she complied at first, and then came out with washcloths to help quell the bleeding.
“This is somebody’s child. I had to clean the blood off my door, off my railing. I’m a mother… It’s not good,” she said.
Crump said Ralph is still traumatized from the ordeal, but the family is hopeful for a full recovery because Ralph is so young and strong.
“He and his family are just happy that he is alive after being shot in the head,” Crump told CNN.
Merritt said Tuesday that the first bullet traveled less than five feet in Jarl’s upper temple and entered his skull.
They scraped bullet fragments from his forehead on Thursday. “Saturday he was at home playing with his dog,” Merritt said.
He said God is telling the community and its leaders that they cannot continue with business as usual.
It was actually a miracle. What we are supposed to learn from that miracle, is the question we need to answer.”
Ralph, a section leader in a marching band who can often be found with an instrument, was looking forward to graduating high school and visiting West Africa before starting college, according to a GoFundMe page.
“Life looks a lot different right now. Although he is doing well physically, he has a long way to go mentally and emotionally. The trauma he has to endure and survive is unimaginable,” the aunt wrote at the fundraiser.
A GoFundMe page launched to help the family with medical expenses has raised more than $2 million in donations by Monday night.
Crump likened shooting Ralph to shooting 17-year-old Martin in Florida and 25-year-old Arbery in Georgia.
“We keep fighting to say that you can’t film and shoot our kids, just because you have a ‘hold up’ law,” Crump said. “It’s unacceptable.”
Merritt told CNN on Monday that the “stand your ground” measure would not apply to Ralph’s case.
“Your basic position, under Missouri laws, is completely unworkable in this case, because there was no conversation, neither from the suspect, nor from the victim and not from law enforcement, that Ralph Jarl, 16-year-old Merritt said.
President Joe Biden spoke with Ralph and his mother, Cleo Nagby, by phone Monday night, a White House official told CNN.
Biden also noted that Ralph is “lucky” because his mom is not only a nurse, but also a physical therapist.
The conversation also covered their families, their love of music, and Ralph’s dream of a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M University — which Biden “briskly tried to convince him that the University of Delaware (the president’s university) was a much better option,” the official said.
“The president also pledged to continue his fight against gun violence,” the official said.