Ralph Yarl named to Missouri All-State Band months after being shot

The teen was shot by a stranger after going to the wrong house in April.

January 9, 2024, 4:27 PM

Ralph Yarl has received the special distinction of being selected to the 2024 Missouri All-State Band less than a year after he was shot after mistakenly going to the wrong house.

The 17-year-old was named as second chair for bass clarinet and will perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association annual conference in January at Lake of the Ozarks reservoir in Missouri, according to a post by North Kansas City Schools.

"We have to spend time on some things we don't enjoy as much," Cleo Nagbe, Yarl's mother, told ABC News in a statement, referring to the practice it takes to achieve high. "Because we need them to arrive at our desired destination."

PHOTO: Ralph Yarl
Ralph Yarl
ABC News

This is the young clarinetist's first selection to the all-state band. He earned an honorable mention in a previous year, according to Nagbe.

Yarl's achievement comes just months after he was shot twice on a stranger's property. Yarl was shot in the head and in the right arm on the evening of April 13, 2023, by Andrew Lester – a homeowner in Kansas City, Missouri, according to police, after the teenager mistakenly arrived at the wrong address – Lester's home – to pick up his twin siblings.

Yarl said that he believed that he was going to the correct address to pick up his siblings on April 13, during a preliminary hearing in August for Lester.

Yarl said that he rang the doorbell and waited "an amount of time I considered longer than normal."

Yarl explained that he never said anything to Lester, but after the shooting, Lester said, "Don't come here ever again."

PHOTO: This booking photo provided by the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff's Office shows Andrew Lester.
This booking photo provided by the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff's Office shows Andrew Lester.
Clay County Sheriff's Office via AP

Lester, 84, was charged with one count of felony assault in the first degree and one count of armed criminal action, also a felony.

Lester pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on April 18 on a $200,000 bond. His jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 7, according to the Missouri Courts.

According to a probable cause statement obtained by ABC News, Lester told police that he "believed someone was attempting to break into the house" and grabbed a gun before going to the door because he was scared.

ABC News' Deena Zaru, Armando Garcia and Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this story.