Oakland, CA — Brennan Walker, a 14-year old Black student, had a near-death experience last Thursday merely because of asking a question. He was shot by a white man after he asked him for directions to school.
On the morning of April 12, Brennan Walker, a student of Rochester High School, woke up late and missed the school bus. He said he didn’t have his phone then since his mother took it away. So while he was walking along the road going to school, he decided to stop at a neighbor’s house and ask for directions.
A woman who opened the door for Walker started yelling and accusing him. The woman’s husband grabbed a gun and fired at him.
Walker recounted the most frightening moment in his life, “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. 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.”
After running away from the house, Walker, who was thankfully not hit, hid and cried.
“I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic,” Walker said referring to his mother saying that black boys are at higher risk getting shot by others.
Jeffrey Zeigler, a retired firefighter who is white, was charged with assault with intent to murder and a felony firearm charge as seen from the video of the arraignment. He faces up to life imprisonment and his bond was set at $50,000.
“There’s a lot more to the story than what’s being told, and I believe that will all come out in court,” Zeigler said at the arraignment. “I was in bed yesterday morning when my wife started screaming and crying…”
The judge cut him off without letting him finish.
According to reports, the man’s wife apparently called 911 around 8:20 am saying that her husband had chase a black man who tried to break in.
“It is just absurd that this happened,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “I feel terrible for the young man; I feel terrible for the mom and the anxiety that they had to go through. We are going to ask for every charge permissible for this guy who stepped up and fired a shotgun because someone knocked on his door.”
Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, said that she was at work when it happened. She eventually found out that the man missed only because he forgot to take the gun’s safety off. Police have also shown her a surveillance video of the incident from the camera installed at the house.
“One of the things that stands out, that probably angers me the most is, while I was watching the tape, you can hear the wife say, ‘Why did these people choose my house?’ ” Wright said. “Who are ‘these people?’ And that set me off. I didn’t want to believe it was what it appeared to look like. When I heard her say that, it was like, but it is.”