Crime

Man who fired shotgun at black teen who asked for directions gets up to 10 years in prison

A retired Michigan firefighter convicted for firing his shotgun at a black teen who came to his doorstep to ask for directions has been sentenced this Tuesday to spend the next four to 10 years in prison, NBC News reports.

Jeffrey Zeigler was sentenced by a judge to two to 10 years for one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and two years for one count of felony firearm.

As NBC News points out, Zeigler will serve at least two years for the assault count and another two years for the firearm count.

The teen, 14-year-old Brennan Walker, missed his bus on the morning of April 12 so he walked up to Zeigler’s home to ask for directions on how to get to school. Minutes later, he was running for his life as Zielger aimed a shotgun at him and fired. The boy was unharmed.

Zeigler, who is 53, was found guilty of assault with attempt to do great bodily harm and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony back on October 12. He was initially charged with assault with intent to murder, but the jury found that he “did not intend” to kill Walker.

Walker’s mother, Lisa Wright, said after the verdict was handed down that her son is still in therapy as a result of the incident.

“This will affect my son forever,” she said.

According to Walker, he went to Zeigler’s home to ask for directions to Rochester High School, where he is a freshman.

“I knocked on the door, stepped back, knocked, stepped back, and then a lady came downstairs yelling at me,” he told NBC-affiliate WDIV in April.

Walker then said that Zeigler’s wife called police, telling them that “a black male was trying to break into her house.”

It was then that Zeigler grabbed his shotgun, ran out to his porch, and fired one round at the teen as he ran away.

During his arraignment earlier this year, Zeigler claimed he believed Walker was trying to rob him and the shotgun accidentally fired when he tripped, but authorities said that the surveillance video provided no evidence to back up his claim and he clearly aimed his shotgun in Walker’s direction.

Featured image via Oakland County Sheriff’s Office/screen grab

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