Jeffrey Craig Zeigler, the Michigan man who shot at Brennan Walker when the Black teen asked for directions to school, has been charged with assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
On April 12, Walker missed his school bus. The 14-year-old began to walk the four miles to Rochester High School located in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills. Walker lost his way and knocked on Zeigler’s door to get directions.
Zeigler’s wife reportedly screamed when she opened the door and saw the high school freshman. She called her husband to come to the door. Walker said that is when Zeigler, a 53-year-old retired firefighter, chased him and shot at him with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Thankfully, Walker was not hit.
The Oakland County Sheriffs department arrived on the scene in response to a 911 call from Zeigler’s wife that a Black man was attempting to break into their home and that her husband chased the man into the yard.
Initially, both Zeigler and Walker were taken into police custody. Police however eventually released Walker and arrested Zeigler.
The Teen and His Mom Speak
“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. 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,” he said.
“I found out later the only reason [the man] missed is because he forgot to take the safety off,” said Brennan Walker’s mother, Lisa Wright.
“We should not have to live in a society where we have to fend for ourselves. If I have a question, I should be able to turn to my village and knock on a door and ask a question. I shouldn’t be fearful of a child, let alone a skin tone,” she added. “This is a decent neighborhood. If anything—why would I knock on your door to rob you?”
Where things stand
Zeigler was released on $50,000 bond. According to the Detroit Free Press, Judge Julie Nicholson ordered Zeigler to wear a GPS monitoring tether, undergo alocohol testing, and stay at least 10 miles from Walker. He is also not to contact Walker.
If convicted, Zeigler faces life in prison.