White Man Fires Gun At Black Teen Who Knocked On His Door Asking For Directions To School

White Man Fires Gun At Black Teen Who Knocked On His Door Asking For Directions To School

Jeff Zeigler was charged with assault with intent to murder.

Published April 13th

A 14-year-old Black boy in Michigan was shot at when he knocked on a stranger’s door to ask for directions to his school.

On Thursday morning, Brennan Walker missed the bus to school and tried to walk the route to Rochester High School. Walker’s mother had confiscated his phone, so he was unable to access GPS.

After getting turned around, Walker decided to knock on someone’s door and ask for help, reported WJBK.

"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," he told WJBK.

Although the man missed, Brennan continued running, and eventually found a place to hide. He also started crying. 

Oakland County Sheriff Deputies received a 911 call from the woman, who claimed a Black male was trying to break into her home. When the authorities arrived at the home, they took the woman's husband into custody.

Jeffrey Zeigler (pictured above), a retired Detroit firefighter, was arraigned Friday afternoon. He has been charged with assault with intent to murder and a felony charge of possessing a firearm for allegedly shooting at Brennan.

When Brennan’s mother was notified by investigators, she was informed of the chilling reason why Zeigler missed.

"I found out later the only reason [the man] missed is because he forgot to take the safety off,” his mother, Lisa Wright, told WJBK.

Investigators also said Zeigler’s Ring doorbell had a surveillance video which recorded the incident. The investigators watched the video with Brennan and his mom.

"One of the things that stands out, that probably angers me the most is, while I was watching the tape, you can hear the wife say, 'Why did "these people" choose my house?'" Brennan’s mom told reporters. "Who are "these people?" And that set me off. I didn't want to believe it was what it appeared to look like. When I heard her say that, it was like, but it is [what it looks like]."

Although authorities haven't released that security video, they are troubled by the incident.

"It is just absurd that this happened," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told WJBK. "I feel terrible for the young man; I feel terrible for the mom and the anxiety that they had to go through. We are going to ask for every charge permissible for this guy, who stepped up and fired a shotgun because someone knocked on his door."

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Oakland County Jail)

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