A White Michigan man was found guilty of assault on Friday for firing a gun at a Black teenager who knocked on his door to ask for directions.
In addition to being found guilty of assault to do great bodily harm, Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, was convicted of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, NBC News reports.
Brennan Walker, 14, knocked on Zeigler’s door in Rochester Hills the morning of April 12 to ask for directions after he missed his school bus. Zeigler opened the door brandishing a shotgun and shot it as the teen as he ran away. He was not physically harmed in the incident.
“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?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High [School]. 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 in an interview in April.
Last week, jurors viewed surveillance video, which was made public, of Zeigler shooting at Brennan.
Rochester Hills Michigan 6 months ago.
The surveillance footage was just released.
14 y/o Black Teen misses the bus to school & figures he knew the route well enough to walk the 4-mile route. He gets lost, stops to ask for directions, & nearly loses his life.
WHY WE KNEEL! pic.twitter.com/k3cnL3kO6u
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) October 11, 2018
The retired firefighter’s defense attorney, Rob Morad, said that the jury “determined Mr. Zeigler did not intend to kill Brennan Walker, “despite the charges.
Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, said that her son has been in therapy over the incident, saying “This will affect my son forever,” per NBC News.
“Let me see him go to jail,” said Wright. “Let my son and myself heal.”
Zeigler’s bond was revoked and was taken into custody, following the verdict. He will be sentenced on Nov. 13.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.