One year after a Kansas City man shot and injured 18-year-old Ralph Yarl, the teen’s family filed a lawsuit against alleged shooter Andrew Lester and the homeowners association in the neighborhood where the shooting happened. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the teen’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, states that Lester showed “carelessness” and “negligence” when he shot Yarl as the 18-year-old mistakenly went to the wrong house while trying to pick up his twin brothers from a friend’s house.

Lester, who shot Yarl in the head and in the arm on April 13, 2023, told police that he thought someone was breaking into his house. The 85-year-old now faces one count of felony assault in the first degree. He was released on a $200,000 bond after not pleading guilty. Nagbe said her son is still struggling with trauma a year after the shooting.

“Ralph is slowly coming to terms with what happened,” Nagbe said in an interview with ABC News. “In the beginning, his way of dealing with it was minimizing … but trauma catches up with you. So the trauma has fallen away to catch up with him.”

According to the lawsuit, Lester failed to “give audible warning” before firing shots. He also didn’t ask him why he came to the house and failed to give him proper aid, the complaint adds.

Nagbe said it has been a long recovery journey for her son, who sustained a traumatic brain injury. He is heading to college to study engineering and has struggled with school since the shooting.

“That’s why I feel bad for him,” she said. “But he doesn’t see that there has been a shift in his mental capacity. It’s not that he’s less smarter, it’s just that when the brain wants to heal, the brain wants to heal. It focuses everything on that healing.”

The lawsuit adds that the teen “suffered and sustained permanent injuries, endured pain and suffering of a temporary and permanent nature, experienced disability and losses of normal life activities, was obligated to spend large sums of money for medical care and attention and suffered other losses and damages.”

Lester, who is white, told officials that he fired his weapon when he saw a “Black male approximately 6 feet tall” pulling his door. The 85-year-old added that he “shot twice within a few seconds of opening the door.”


The Highland Acres Lakeside Heights Homeowners Association is also accused of “carelessly and negligently” failing to educate residents about the dangers of using firearms in the neighborhood. In addition to legal fees, Yarl’s family is seeking financial compensation “in excess of this Court’s jurisdictional limit.”