Homeowner charged after shooting at Black teen who knocks on door asking direction to school after missing bus
https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/ar ... black-teen
Brennan Walker didn’t make the morning bus to school. He didn’t have his phone. And he wasn’t sure how to get to his high school.
Brennan needed help finding his way, and the home of Jeffrey Zeigler appeared to be just as good as any to seek neighborly guidance.
Zeigler answered with a shotgun blast.
Jurors on Tuesday watched video of the incident during Zeigler’s trial, which showed how close Brennan, then 14, may have come to a violent death on April 12 in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Zeigler, a retired firefighter, was charged with assault with intent to murder, which could lead to life in prison, Oakland County District Attorney Jessica R. Cooper told The Washington Post on Thursday, along with use of a firearm in a felony.
Extremely soft-spoken on the stand, Brennan, 15, had some difficulty recounting specifics about the alleged incident at Zeigler’s home on South Christian Hills Drive last April 12. But he did testify about how Zeigler and his wife reacted after he appeared on their front porch shortly after 8 a.m. that day, seeking directions to school. Without a cell phone due to his mother taking it from him the night before because he wasn’t doing his homework, Brennan said he was walking to school — relying on his memory of the bus route when he became confused.
Brennan said “a nice man” in the same neighborhood had given him directions awhile earlier, but he still lost his way. He then decided to try another house, which turned out to be the Zeiglers’.
Brennan said he had opened the screen door and knocked a few times on the home’s front door, then stepped back so whoever answered could see him through the window next to the door. Zeigler’s wife came to the door and mistakenly believed he was trying to break in, and then began yelling, Brennan testified.
Zeigler came downstairs, looking “like he had just woken up,” then moments later appeared with a shotgun.
“I was scared. I was trying to tell them that I was trying to get to high school, but they weren’t listening,” Brennan testified. He said he considered trying to continue explaining, but then decided leaving was a better idea.