Black teen misses bus, gets shot at after asking for directions

Would-be killer Jeffery Zeigler and his intended victim, 14-year-old Brennan Walker.

A retired Detroit firefighter faces life in prison if convicted of charges filed when he fired a 12-gauge shotgun at Brennan Walker, 14, when the teenager knocked on his front door to ask for directions.

The freshman missed a bus and got lost trying to walk four miles from his home to Rochester High School on Thursday, so he intended to ask for directions at a stranger’s home.

When the child knocked at the door, however, a white woman started yelling at him, then her husband grabbed a shotgun and began firing at the innocent, unarmed youth.

“Over the last 24 hours, I’ve been working with the leadership of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Rochester Community Schools and have been kept apprised of the terrible incident which occurred yesterday in one of our neighborhoods,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett

Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, was arraigned Friday before Judge Julie Nicholson on charges of assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to a release from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

Bond was set at $50,000, and Zeigler was ordered to wear a GPS tether upon release, to undergo alcohol testing and to stay at least 10 miles away from the victim and refrain from contacting him.

Rochester High School freshman Brennan Walker, 14, missed his bus Thursday and got lost trying to walk four miles from his home to school.

Walker knocked on the front door of Zeigler’s home and was subsequently shot at with the shotgun.

“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?’”, Walker said. “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.”

Brennan said he became lost while en route and knocked on someone’s door to ask for directions. He was met by a woman yelling at him. She called her husband to the door, and he had a shotgun.

Brennan and his mother, Lisa Walker, said they believe the shooting was racially motivated.

“Over the last 24 hours, I’ve been working with the leadership of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Rochester Community Schools and have been kept apprised of the terrible incident which occurred yesterday in one of our neighborhoods,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.

 


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