Black Teen Seeks Directions, Gets Shotgun Blast

Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, says he was 'tired of being a victim'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2018 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Michigan jury just found a man guilty of shooting at a teenager who knocked on his door asking for directions, ABC News reports. Jeffrey Zeigler, a 53-year-old former firefighter, has been convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. It all began in April when Brennan Walker, then 14, got lost in Rochester Hills after missing the bus and knocked on Zeigler's door. Zeigler's wife Dana testified that she saw a black person at the door and began screaming. "I was screaming as loud as I possibly could, saying somebody is breaking into my house," says Dana, who contends that Walker asked for directions but also opened the screen door and grabbed the door handle "as though he's coming into my house."

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Surveillance video shows Zeigler coming out, pointing his shotgun at Walker in the driveway, and lowering it slightly when it failed to fire so he could disengage the safety; he then raised the weapon and fired but didn't hit Walker, per the Detroit News. Zeigler initially claimed the gun went off by accident, but a detective testified that when Zeigler saw the video, he drank some water and said, "I was tired of being a victim." Zeigler says his family has endured five break-and-enter attempts since they moved in over 13 years ago; a teenage neighbor was prosecuted in 2010 over three incidents. Zeigler's sentencing is slated for Nov. 18. (Read more shooting stories.)

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