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Family of Teenager Shot After Mistakenly Ringing Doorbell at Wrong House Files Lawsuit Against Homeowner

Ralph Yarl (Credits: The Hill)

The family of Ralph Yarl, a Black teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being shot in the head by Andrew Lester when he mistakenly went to the wrong house, has filed a civil lawsuit in Missouri against Lester and the Highland Acres Lakeside Heights Homeowners Association.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Yarl’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, alleges that Lester’s “carelessness” and “negligence” led to Yarl’s permanent injuries and seeks damages for his pain, suffering, and medical expenses.

Ralph Yarl (Credits: ABC News)

The lawsuit claims that Lester, 84, was aware of Yarl’s non-threatening presence and yet shot him without justification, causing severe injuries.

It also alleges that the homeowners association was aware of Lester’s violent tendencies, access to dangerous weapons, and racial biases, but failed to take action to prevent the shooting.

Yarl, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, had gone to the wrong house to pick up his siblings and was shot by Lester after ringing the doorbell. Lester claimed self-defense, but Yarl’s family argues that he was negligent in assessing the level of threat and that his actions were motivated by racial bias.

Ralph Yarl (Credits: Daily Mail)

The lawsuit seeks to hold Lester and the homeowners association accountable for their actions and to provide justice for Yarl and his family. The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, stated that the civil suit is aimed at giving the family control over the pursuit of justice for Ralph.

Lester has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action and is scheduled to go on trial on October 7. Yarl, who turns 18 next month, continues to heal from his injuries, and his family is seeking compensation for his medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

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