A retired Detroit firefighter was charged with a felony after his home security system caught him lying about what happened when a Black teen knocked on his front door to ask for directions.
Authorities arraigned Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, Friday on charges of assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, USA Today reported.
Oakland County sheriff’s deputies responded Thursday morning to a report of a Black male attempting to break into a Rochester Hills house. When the deputies arrived, they found 14-year-old Brennan Walker down the street, fortunately unharmed.
The high school freshman missed his bus and got lost trying to figure out his way to school—a 4-mile journey. He knocked on Zeigler’s door to ask for directions. Zeigler’s wife yelled at Walker when she answered the door and then went to get her husband.
Investigators determined that Zeigler showed up with a 12-gauge shotgun. He chased the teen into the yard and fired at him.
“The victim in this matter, a 14-year-old child, indicated what had happened to the police and his version did bear out on that video,” assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins said.
Race had everything to do with this incident, Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, stated.
“After watching the video and hearing the wife say ‘Why did these people choose my house?’ I knew it was racially motivated,” Wright said. “I don’t know what other ‘these people’ she could possibly have been talking about. He was by himself.”
The judge set bond at $50,000. She also ordered Zeigler to stay at least 10 miles away from the high school student. The former firefights must wear a GPS to track his whereabouts and undergo alcohol testing. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
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