PRESS RELEASE: Despicable and Wicked -ULAA Termed Liberian Teenager Shooting in Missouri, Speaks with Family

(Philadelphia, April 17, 2023)-The  Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) has termed as despicable and utter wickedness the shooting of Ralph Yarl, a black Liberian teenager who was shot by a homeowner after he went to the wrong address to pick up his younger brothers in Kansas City, Missouri.

Speaking with the family Monday, April 17, 2023, ULAA National President, Hon. J. Shiwoh Kamara said the  Liberian community was saddened by such a tragic incident and pledged support to the family in ensuring justice.

Speaking with the victim’s father, Mr. Paul Yarl Monday evening, ULAA President said ULAA leadership and all Liberians across the United States were offering prayers for little Yarl, who he said didn’t deserve to be shot.

Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said the homeowner initially shot the teen in the head and then shot him a second time after the boy fell to the ground. As of Monday evening, the White 84-year-old homeowner is facing two felony charges, Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson announced. 

Police said Andrew Lester will face charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. Thompson said that authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest and that he’s not currently in custody. 

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe intended to raise US$ 1 million has been topped since the incident with a total of US$1,211,080 raised so far from over 31.000 donors across the United States. ULAA has since encouraged all Liberians to support the drive as protests swell across the state.   

Police said that Ralph had gone to collect his siblings from a friend’s house on 115th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri, but got muddled up with the address and accidentally went to a home on 115th Street by mistake. There, Ralph allegedly rang the doorbell, and the homeowner later identified as 85-year-old Andrew Lester opened fire on him, shooting him twice.

About ULAA:

The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is the umbrella organization representing Liberians and their various organizations in the Americas. ULAA is a voluntary, nonprofit, and non-governmental organization formed on July 4, 1974, in Philadelphia, United States of America. The mission of ULAA is to advance the just causes of Liberians and Liberia at home and abroad.

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