Brennan Walker, a 14-year-old boy from Michigan, says that a homeowner shot at him – and missed – after Walker knocked on the man’s door to ask for directions to school.
Jeffrey Zeigler, a retired Detroit firefighter who was injured on duty, is accused of being the man who shot at Walker in Rochester Hills, Michigan, a Detroit-area suburb.
The case has generated outrage and gone viral on social media because Walker is black and Zeigler is white, so it’s being highlighted as an example of possible racial profiling. Rochester Hills is a suburb of Detroit.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Walker Knocked on Zeigler’s Door When He Became Lost on the Way to School
Brennan Walker has given his account of the shooting incident – in which he was not injured – to the Detroit-area news media. The story involves Zeigler’s wife as well as the retired firefighter, although only Jeffrey Zeigler has been charged.
According to the Associated Press, the teenager alleges that he knocked on the Zeigler door “to get directions to school” around 8:20 a.m. on April 12, 2018. A woman in the home, Zeigler’s wife, is accused of calling 911 and alleging that “her husband had chased a black male who tried to break in.”
Brennan Walker missed his school bus because he woke up late, so he decided to walk to Rochester High School, according to the AP, which reported that Walker says he lost his way in the Christian Hills subdivision and ended up knocking on Zeigler’s door.
“I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door,” he told WJBK-TV.
Walker told the television station that the woman demanded to know “why are you trying to break into my house?” Walker continued to WJBK: “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.”
“She didn’t really give me a chance to speak a lot, and I was trying to tell her that I go to Rochester High and I was looking for directions,” Brennan told The New York Times. “A few moments later the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the shotgun.”
2. Zeigler Is a Retired Firefighter With a Previous Gun Charge
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