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Teen who was shot in the head after ringing a doorbell at the wrong house earns place on all-state band

By Brammhi Balarajan, CNN

(CNN) — Ralph Yarl was 16 when he was shot in the head and arm last April after going to the wrong house in Kansas City to pick up his siblings.

He’s been making steady progress on the road to recovery since then – but has experienced headaches, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in June.

Now a new milestone has arrived. Ralph last week “earned a spot in the 2024 Missouri All State Orchestra or Band,” a Facebook post from North Kansas City Schools said. The district named him as a second chair for bass clarinet.

“I’m just a kid and not larger than life because this happened to me,” Ralph said in June. “I’m just gonna keep doing all the stuff that makes me happy. And just living my life the best I can, and not let this bother me.”

Eighty-four-year-old homeowner Andrew Lester, who is accused in the shooting, said he thought Ralph was trying to break into his house when the Black teen rang his doorbell in April 2023, according to the probable cause document obtained by CNN.

Lester, who is White, pleaded not guilty In April to two felony charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action before being released on $200,000 bond. His trial is set for later this year, according to Missouri court records.

Lester told the teen “don’t come here ever again,” before shooting him, Ralph said in June.

The shooting – which led to protests across Kansas City and a GoFundMe page that generated more than $3 million to help the Yarl family – was one among a number at the time involving people being met by gunfire after apparently going to a place in error.

Ralph had gone to Lester’s house by mistake to pick up his siblings who were at a similar but different address, he told authorities.

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CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.

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