The Brennan Walker thing

Rochester Hills, Michigan:

Walker was trying to walk the bus route to Rochester High School after he woke up late and missed his bus. His mom had taken his phone away, so he didn’t have that with him to get directions. So he knocked on a stranger’s door for help — and almost paid for it with his life.

“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 says.

Thankfully, the man missed. Brennan kept running, hid, then cried.

Oh, did I mention that he’s 14?

Later in the story, we learn that the backshooter, Jeffrey Ziegler, missed because he didn’t know enough about his gun to take the safety off. So that’s two things he’s unforgivably bad at… the other being telling the difference between a deadly-dangerous home invader and a 14-year-od boy knocking on the front door.

Oh, there’s also video from the Zieglers’ smart doorbell. Brennan’s mother has seen it and is not impressed:

“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?'” she says, before taking a long pause. “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 [what it looks like].”

That makes three things the Zieglers are unforgivably bad at. Sure, Rochester Hills is mostly white, but it’s a suburb of Detroit. It shouldn’t have shocked them into a fight-or-flight panic to see a black person.

And being a retired firefighter and neighborhood watch member doesn’t quite give Ziegler a cop’s license to kill, as he’s apparently about to find out:

“It is just absurd that this happened,” says Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “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.”

Originally posted on April 17, 2018.


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