Jeffrey Zeigler, a retired Detroit firefighter who was injured on duty, is accused of shooting at Brennan Walker, a Rochester Hills, Michigan teenager, when the youth knocked on his door to ask for directions.
The case has become the latest flash point for racial profiling concerns in the United States. Rochester Hills is a suburb of Detroit. Walker says he was trying to get directions for school when the man, identified by police as Zeigler, 53, is accused of shooting at the boy – and missing him. Walker is only 14-years-old. Zeigler is white, and Walker is black.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Walker Says He Became Lost While Walking to School & Knocked on Zeigler’s Door
Brennan Walker has spoken out in the Detroit-area news media about the incident. According to the Associated Press, the youth alleges that he knocked on the homeowner’s door “to get directions to school” around 8:20 a.m. on April 12, 2018. A woman in the home is accused of calling 911 and alleging that “her husband had chased a black male who tried to break in.”
Brennan Walker had missed his school bus because he woke up late and 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. Ziegler, a Retired Firefighter Injured on Duty, Was Previously Accused in a Road Rage Shooting
According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, Ziegler “was arraigned on assault with intent to murder and felony firearm.” Zeigler is being held in the local jail, which gives his age as 53. He told the court he was not currently employed. He said he was last employed in 2014. “That was the day I was injured at a house fire rescuing three kids,” he told the court.
He is no stranger to gun charges. In 2004, police in Warren, Michigan arrested Zeigler on accusations that he shot “at a car in a road rage incident on I-696,” Fox 2 Detroit reported. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in that case, according to the television station.
There was also a call for …read more