Ralph Yarl, teen shot after mistakenly going to the wrong house, opens up about recovery in ‘GMA’ exclusive

On Tuesday morning, Robin Roberts took to the airwaves to announce that she will be co-anchoring GMA with an exclusive interview. During this interview, Ralph Yarl, the teenager who was mistakenly shot after entering the wrong house, opened up about his harrowing experience for the first time.

Yarl remembered that they were divided by an additional glass door. A senior gentleman with a firearm unlocked the door. Yarl patiently waited for an extended duration before finally pressing the doorbell and ascending the stairs. He parked his vehicle in the driveway as instructed by Yarl. Yarl explained that he unintentionally arrived at an incorrect location, one he had never visited before. However, his mother requested him to collect his twin siblings from a friend’s residence, as conveyed by Roberts to Yarl.

Roberts was informed by Yarl that he pointed a gun at me… So I sort of prepared myself and turned my head. “What happened next? And then I’m on the ground… And then I fall on the glass. The glass shattered. And right before I knew it, I’m running away, shouting for help, ‘Help me, help me.'”

Police report that Yarl was shot in the head and in his right arm on the evening of April 13 by Andrew Lester, a resident in Kansas City, Missouri. His relatives had previously informed ABC News that the adolescent, who recently turned 17, experienced a severe brain injury.

At a press briefing held on April 17, the prosecuting attorney for Clay County, Zachary Thompson, announced that Lester, who is 84 years old, has been formally accused of committing a serious crime, specifically one charge of first-degree assault and one charge of armed criminal activity, both of which are considered felonies.

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Don’t forget to switch on ABC on Tuesday, June 27th, at 7 a.M. To witness Robin Roberts’ one-of-a-kind conversation with Ralph Yarl on “Good Morning America.”

Salmon Steven, the lawyer representing Lester, submitted a motion for a restraining order in light of some of the case evidence being partially concealed following the approval of a judge. The preliminary hearing is set to take place on Aug. 31, and Lester, who pleaded not guilty, was released on April 18 on a $200,000 bond.

Salmon stated to ABC News on Monday that, in this situation, the court issued a decree forbidding the distribution of data from the exploration by both the prosecution and defense. “Any declaration from Mr. Lester, who anticipates the forthcoming preliminary hearing, would unquestionably breach that decree,” Mr. Salmon expressed.

Yarl informed Roberts that after being shot, he sought help and secured the door. The initial house he approached refused assistance, forcing him to approach several other homes. Yarl explained that despite his search for aid, his instincts kicked in and he remained vigilant. To his surprise, he discovered that he was bleeding from his head.

He instructed, “remain here until the authorities arrive.” An individual unlatches the entrance and instructs me to patiently await the arrival of the authorities. Subsequently, I proceed towards that residence and the adjacent one on the right. Regrettably, no one responds, prompting me to proceed towards the subsequent residence across the street. Consequently, I make my way there.

Cleo Nagbe, Yarl’s mother, expressed concern as she drove around in search of him, after her son failed to come back from picking up his siblings.

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Shortly after she said she received a phone call from the police, she headed straight to the hospital, telling Ralph that she was shot.

“It was distressing,” she expressed.

Lester, according to a statement obtained by ABC News, was scared because someone he believed to be attempting to break into his house grabbed a gun before going to the door, as the police told him.

Lester, a white male who claimed to have seen a tall, approximately 6 feet, Black male, said that he immediately called 911 and the Black male ran away. Within a few seconds of opening the door, he shot twice.

On April 14, authorities conversed with Yarl while he was recuperating at Children’s Mercy Hospital. As per the statement of probable cause, he informed the authorities that he did not tug at the doorknob and stated that he pressed the doorbell.

Faith Spoonmore, aunt of Yarl’s nephew, didn’t want to go back home because he was shot in the neighborhood where he also lived, as ABC News reported last month.

He said that he is seeing a therapist and hoping to continue his recovery by focusing on his passions for music and chemical engineering. However, he has relocated with his family since then to Yarl.

He stated, “this occurred to me because I am merely a child and not bigger than existence. I am simply going to continue engaging in all the activities that bring me joy. Additionally, I will not allow this to trouble me and will strive to live my life to the fullest extent possible.”

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Throughout his recuperation, Yarl informed Roberts that music aided him in dealing with the situation. Yarl additionally performs on the contrabass clarinet, the clarinet, the tenor saxophone, and the saxophone. Yarl, who showcased his skills on the bass clarinet during his appearance on “GMA,”

“Classical music sort of connects with me,” he stated.

“Simply the sensation that it generates and the reality that you can fabricate it on your own … It somewhat energizes me.”

Nagbe expressed her gratitude for the tremendous support her family has received since the shooting, ranging from individuals contributing to the fund to those sending letters of encouragement for Ralph’s recovery. She considers her son’s progress as a “blessing” and the family is immensely appreciative of the overflowing affection and assistance.

“Every day I sit and I peruse a letter and I weep,” she expressed.

Nagbe informed Roberts that Ralph and his family have been composing expressions of gratitude to the individuals who sent him correspondence.

She expressed, “I just feel that if they took the time to write a letter, I owe them a thank you note, Ralph.”

Yarl expressed, “Justice is simply the governance of the legal system, irrespective of race, ethnicity, and age,” in response to the question about his perception of justice.

“[Lester] ought to be convicted for the offenses that he committed,” he remarked. “I am no longer harboring any personal animosity towards him.”

Eboni Griffin, Nicole Curtis, Danielle Genet, and Mya Green from ABC News made contributions to this report.

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