Suburban Detroit man sentenced for firing gun at Black youth seeking directions to school
Jeffrey Zeigler was sentenced to up to 10 years on an attempted murder conviction for shooting Brennan Walker, who was 14 at the time of the incident.
Zeigler, who was convicted last month, was found guilty by a jury in Oakland County Circuit Court of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm to 14-year-old Brennan Walker. He fired a shot at the boy and video of the occurrence showed Zeigler firmly standing with intent to shot his shotgun toward the boy as he fled in fear.
Ziegler apologized saying that he “felt extremely remorseful. I was, I was just shocked,” he said, nothing that he didn’t realize it was a teen he was shooting at until he played back the video.
A detective testified and said the Zeigler family had been the victim of three robberies between 2009 and 2010,
Assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins told the jury that Brennan, a Rochester Hills High School freshman, narrowly escaped fatal injury by mere seconds.
“There were choices made and choices have consequences,” Collins told the jury.
“He told you of his past and his credentials and how he is an upstanding citizen and homeowner who was broken into before… and how he felt he and his wife were in danger. He (Zeigler) was the danger on April 12.”
During the trial, Walker’s mother reportedly cried frequently especially at the surveillance videos of her son that were played for jurors.
“When I saw that video, my thought process switched… I knew which direction I had to go. I was shocked,” Detective Shawn Pace testified. After viewing it a second time, he said Zeigler was “charged up, because I was offended by what I had seen.”
“He took a big drink of water, looked at me and said, ‘I’m tired of being a victim.’ That was it,” Pace said.
He was charged with assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, but as noted by The Detroit News, Judge Wendy Potts gave jurors the option of convicting Zeigler on the lesser charge.