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Washington, April 19 – US President Joe Biden said that he has called the Black teen who got shot in Kansas City, Missouri, after knocking on a wrong door.
Biden tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that he “had a chance to call Ralph Yarl and his family” on Monday night, Xinhua news agency reported.
“No parent should have to worry that their kid will be shot after ringing the wrong doorbell,” he continued. “We’ve got to keep up the fight against gun violence.”
Biden also suggested that he would invite Yarl, 16, to the White House once he feels better.
Yarl was shot twice by Andrew Lester, of Kansas City, on the night of April 13 after the teen approached the wrong house while picking up his siblings.
Lester, an 84-year-old White man, was charged on Monday with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action. He turned himself in on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Lester reportedly told investigators that he had gone to bed when the doorbell rang, and he went to the door armed with a revolver.
According to the probable cause document obtained by US media outlets, Lester thought his home was being broken into and he fired twice through the glass door.
Officers responded before 10 p.m. that night after receiving reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found Yarl wounded in the street.
Demonstrators have marched through Kansas City, demanding justice for Yarl who has been released from the hospital after being treated for gunshot wounds.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said that he believes Yarl was racially profiled by the shooter, stressing that “this boy was shot because he was existing while Black.”
Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson has also said, “There was a racial component to this case.”
Attorneys for Yarl’s family — Ben Crump and Lee Merritt — said in a statement on Monday that “gun violence against unarmed Black individuals must stop.”
“Our children should feel safe, not as though they are being hunted,” the lawyers added.