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Retired Firefighter Received 4 To 10 Years In Prison For Shooting At A Black Teen Who Came To His House For Directions After Missing His Bus

A Lost Black Teen Was Shot At After He Went To A White Mans House To Ask For Directions When He Missed His School Bus

By: Brianna Wigfall

A Michigan man was found guilty and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for shooting at a lost black teen that came to his house to ask for directions. The teenager had missed his school bus last April and was walking through Rochester Hills neighborhood when he went to Jeffrey Zeigler’s doorstep to ask for help.

“I knocked on the door, stepped back, knocked, stepped back, and then a lady came downstairs yelling at me,” Brennan Walker said to Click on Detroit. “She asked me, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ and I told her I was just looking for directions to Rochester High,” He said.

The 14-year-old at the time said he saw a man coming down the stairs with a gun and that’s when he was urged to start running.

“I turned back, and I saw him aiming at me,” he said. “I was running away. I was trying to run away faster, and I heard a gunshot.”

On October 12 Zeigler appeared in an Oakland County courtroom where he was sentenced to 2 to 10 years for one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and two years for one count of felony firearm. According to the judge, a consecutive sentence means Zeigler will serve at least two years for the assault count and an additional two years for the firearm count.

Zeigler was captured on home surveillance footage shooting at the teen around 8:30 a.m. on April 12 as he ran away from the house. According to the Sheriff’s Office statement, the 911 call was suspicious of the teen trying to break into the house.

“The caller reported that a black male was trying to break into her house and her husband chased after him into the yard. Upon deputies’ arrival, it was determined that the husband chased after the make with a 12 gauge shotgun and fired a round toward the fleeing male. No injuries were reported.”

The 53-year-old retired firefighter believed the story didn’t add up in court and made a statement during the arraignment saying, “There’s a lot more to this story than what is being told and I believe that will all come out in court,” he said. “I was in bed yesterday morning when my wife started screaming and crying…” he said before he was stopped by the Judge.

The teen’s mother, Lisa Wright, said she wanted Zeigler to receive the highest level of punishment for what he did to her son. “I want to see this pushed to the fullest extent,” she said. “It definitely was a hate crime. This will affect my son forever.”

When Zeigler was sentenced on Tuesday Walker said she didn’t feel as though he was sorry for what he has but. Zeigler reassured her he was sorry apologizing by saying, “I have full remorse and regret, and I wish I could change something, but we can’t go back in time.”

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett’s initial thoughts on the case were very disappointing and not like the citizens of the community to act in such a way. “I am personally sickened by the initial reports, and they suggest behavior completely unacceptable and inconsistent with the character and values of our community.”

The NAACP says Brennan was simply a black teen who was judged by the color of his skin and as times were 50 years ago things remain the same.

“50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. diagnosed for the nation its most dangerous and deadly spiritual ulcer. Yet today, there are still too many in our communities who failed to heed his prescription to see our character because they are too blinded by our color. He indicated he was simply asking for directions. Herein lies the assumption. He is a black youth, at a white door, in a suburban neighborhood, therefore he must be trying to break in.”

The NAACP finished its statement by saying, “We must be clear. Whether or not it was Brennan Walker, age 14, knocking on the door in the daylight in Rochester asking for help, he was still shot at for his efforts. In case you forgot, Renisha McBride, age 19, was shot in the face at midnight and killed in Dearborn Heights as she asked for help for her efforts. Until our society has a heart and a head transformation, we will continue to see not our God-given humanity but our contagious racial insanity. Face it America; we have a problem. It’s called racism. Until we own it, we cannot cure it. What are you going to do about it?”

By: Brianna Wigfall | Web: | Instagram: Brianne. Live

Source: Click on Detroit, NBC News