MI man guilty after shooting at teen trying to ask for directions

Blanche Robertson
October 13, 2018

A MI man who fired his shotgun at a black teenager who was seeking directions to school was convicted Friday, days after the jury saw home security footage of the incident, NBC News reported.

The conviction stems from an incident in April, when a 14-year-old Rochester High School freshman said he missed his bus and got lost while walking to school.

The surveillance video shown this week in court showed Jeffrey Zeigler, dressed only in trousers, exiting his house and shooting once at Walker as the teen runs away.

Surveillance video from the front porch shows Walker running away from the house, and Jeffrey coming outside moments later with his gun, pointing it in the direction of the teen and firing.

Zeigler said that he was defending himself in the incident, claiming that Walker was trying to break into his house.

He said he "absolutely" understood he did something wrong, and when asked if he would've done things differently: "I would have given him a ride to school". The jury also found Zeigler guilty on a weapons charge. Somewhere along the four-mile trek, the teen got turned around and stopped at Zeigler's home to ask for directions.

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"I saw him holding it (the gun) like this through the window and I guess I put my hand up". "I knew which direction I had to go", he said.

"I was offended by what I had seen". That's when he knocked on Ziegler's door for help - but instead of helping him, Ziegler, a 53-year-old former Detroit firefighter, fired a shotgun. "He took a big drink of water, he looked at me and he said, 'I'm exhausted of being a victim'". But later, Ziegler said that he was attempting to fire a "warning shot". "I felt extremely remorseful and I was just shocked", he said, Fox2 reported.

Both Zeigler and his wife have maintained they thought they were being robbed by Brennan, citing several previous break-ins.

However, assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins countered in her closing argument, saying, "Just because he wasn't successful, doesn't negate what his intent was". "I screamed at him and I asked him what he was doing there". The teen, she alleged, opened their storm door and tried to open the inner wooden door.

She then yelled for her husband, who ran to the first floor of the home and grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun, the Detroit News reported. They had hoped to convict Zeigler of Assault with Intent to Murder.

Ziegler faces a minimum of two years in prison for the felony firearms charge.

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