A white man who fired a shotgun at a black teen who got lost on the way to school told detectives investigating the alleged hate crime, “I’m tired of being a victim.”
Detective Shawn Pace of Michigan’s Oakland County Sheriff’s Office testified Tuesday that after an April 12 surveillance video contradicted Jeffrey C. Zeigler’s claim that he accidentally fired a shotgun at 14-year-old Brennan Walker, who knocked on his door seeking directions, Zeigler said, “I’m tired of being a victim.” According to the Detroit News, Zeigler, 53, has been charged with assault with intent to murder and potentially faces life in prison.
A 14 year-old black teen named Brennan Walker got lost on his way to school after missing the bus & walked up to the house of Jeffrey Zeigler to ask for directions. That’s when Zeigler tried to kill the teen. He’s been charged. This video was just released. pic.twitter.com/RHMKvVTSvY
— #TheResistance (@BoneKnightmare) October 11, 2018
Walker, of Rochester Hills, told police that he missed his school bus that morning and became lost in the Christian Hills neighborhood, so he rang the doorbell of a home belonging to Zeigler, a retired Detroit firefighter, to ask for directions.
According to Fox 2 Detroit, Zeigler believed the boy was trying to break into his house and that he stumbled, accidentally firing his gun. However, surveillance video — shown to the jury Tuesday — shows Walker standing at Zeigler’s door, then running away as the homeowner chases him, stopping to carefully aim at the boy and fire his weapon. Walker was not wounded.
“I said, ‘Sir, can you point out to me where he charged your door, at what point was he a threat?'” Pace told Judge Wendy Potts of the Oakland County Circuit Court, according to Fox 2 Detroit. “I said he was standing four feet away with his hands in his pockets; he is not showing any aggressive manner. He’s been lying to me the whole time.”
Pace continued, “Mr. Ziegler at this point is just sitting there, and I said, ‘You took aim at him. You know, sir, can you respect what I do and just admit that you aimed your weapon at this young man.’ He took a big drink of water, he looked at me, and he said, ‘I’m tired of being a victim.'”
According to CNN, Walker’s mother said in April, “It definitely was a hate crime.”
I have no words, I am so thankful that Brennan Walker did not become a statistic. https://t.co/w8zOcerM5D
— Hova (@AceBoogey_) October 11, 2018
This is Jeffery Ziegler.
Jeffery is 43 yrs old and white.
Jeffery fired a gun at a unarmed 14 yr Brennan Walker who is black.
Jeffery is on trial for attempted murder and felony firearm.
Jeffery is a racist and an ass****.
— Kiejah D. (@kiejahd) October 11, 2018
The Detroit News reports that in December 2004, Zeigler was also arrested for allegedly firing a handgun at a motorist after the he and the other man cussed at each other while driving down the interstate. Zeigler was reportedly charged with assault with a deadly weapon, later reduced to a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to probation and fines.
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