ROCHESTER HILLS, Mi. - A white retired firefighter was found guilty of assault Friday for shooting at a black teenager who knocked on his door asking for directions.
Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, was also charged with attempted murder but an Oakland County jury convicted him of the lesser assault charge as well as a possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, WDIV reported.
Zeigler’s sentencing is Nov. 13, the Detroit Free Press reported.
In April, Brennan Walker, 14, missed the bus and tried walking to school. He soon got lost and knocked on the door to the Zeigler’s Rochester Hills home.
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Zeigler’s wife Dana first saw Brennan at the door and yelled to her husband, who grabbed a shotgun and ran down the stairs.
"He didn't look like a child. He was a rather big man standing there, and also, if he was going to school, we have no schools in our area," Dana Zeigler said in court Oct. 9, the Free Press reported.
Surveillance video showed Zeigler chase Brennan down the street with the shotgun.
Zeigler tried to fire it but the safety was on. He tried again after switch it off. Brennan said he heard a shot but was not hit, the Free Press reported.
At the time Zeigler told investigators he came out with the shotgun because he believed his home was being broken into, WDIV reported. In court, Zeigler was remorseful and admitted he did something wrong, the Free Press reported.
“That's just completely unacceptable on every level. I don't know how you would justify it, but it certainly doesn't pass the muster,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told WDIV.
Brennan and his mother, Lisa Wright, believe Zeigler reacted in such a way because he is black.
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