Verdict In For White Man Who Shot At A Black Teen Who Needed Help

Posted On : 10/11/2018

In Rochester Hills, Michigan, Brennan Walker, 14, was trying to get to school but he missed his bus. With no phone, Walker knocked on the door of a home to get some help. Sadly, he almost lost his life when homeowner, Jeffrey Zeigler, opened the door with a gun pointed in his direction. Walker ran away as he almost became a hashtag. Oddly enough, Zeigler’s wife made claims that she thought someone was breaking into their home. However, a porch video from the Zeigler ‘s home told another story.

Black Teen Misses Bus And Gets Shot At For Asking A White Man For Help:

Brennan Walker, a Rochester High School student, overslept one morning which caused him to miss his bus from school. Unable to use GPS, Walker didn’t have his phone as his mother had taken his phone away. With no other way to obtain directions, Walker knocked on a stranger’s door for help and almost paid for it with his life.

According to Fox 2 News, Walker walked on the porch of Jeffrey Zeigler to ask for directions as he was lost. Just a kid, Walker was terrified when he was greeted by a shot gun when all he was trying to do was get help.

I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot, Walker said to Fox 2 News.

Barely escaping with his life, Brennan fled from the home, hid, and then cried.

My mom says that, black boys get shot because sometimes they don’t look their age, and I don’t look my age. I’m 14; but I don’t look 14. I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic, Brennan said to Fox 2 News.

Brennan Walker and his mother notified the police. Jeffrey Zeigler, retired Detroit firefighter, was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder; along with felony firearms. He bonded himself and now he is currently on trial.  Jeffrey Zeigler tried to kill Brennan that day and he lied about it.

Rochester Hills Home Owner Thought A Black Teen Was Trying To Break Into His Home:

When Brennan Walker arrived to the Zeigler home, Dana Zeigler screamed in fear as she reportedly thought Brennan was breaking into her home. In her eyes, he didn’t look like a 14 year-old boy going to school. Despite the fact that Brennan informed her that he was a student, she allegedly thought a black man was trying to rob her.

I saw a black person standing at my door and I screamed at him and I asked him what he was doing there, Dana Zeigler said. He tells me that he is going to school and at that point he approaches the door, forward momentum, comes forward, opens the screen door, and puts his hand on the door handle again, as though he’s coming into my house. He didn’t look like a child. He was a rather big man standing there, and also, if he was going to school, we have no schools in our area.

Fox 2 News shared that the Zeiglers have a history of break-ins at their home. A detective testified that there were three in 2009-2010. It was a person known to the family and that person was arrested. Because their home was vandalized, the Zeiglers installed cameras to capture criminals in the act.

Homeowner Claims He Regrets His Actions And That He Should Have Helped The Teen:

Jeffrey Zeigler allegedly told Shawn Pace, a detective with the Oakland County, that he was tired of being a victim. While Zeigler testified that he was trying to send a warning shot to Brennan, the porch video clearly shows him aiming at Brennan to kill him. However, Zeigler claims he had no idea the person on his porch was a teenage boy until he saw the surveillance video.

I felt extremely remorseful. I was — I was just shocked, Jeffrey Zeigler stated in court said.

When asked if he would’ve done things differently, he stated that he would have taken Brennan to school. While Zeigler was trying to sound remorseful, the jury wasn’t convinced. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to at least 17 years in prison. Last year, he tried to get an appeal based on jury instructions but the Michigan Supreme Court denied that appeal in March.

Zeigler  will be sentenced on November 13th.

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