Video footage released in a courtroom shows a Detroit-area man shooting at a teenager with a shotgun after the teen reportedly knocked on the door and asked for directions.
The incident was captured on Jeffrey Zeigler’s home security system on April 12, the Oakland Press reported. Zeigler is on trial for shooting the teen.
He was charged with attempted murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Brennan Walker, 14, was walking alone to school after missing his bus. He went to several houses and asked for directions, police said.
“I was trying to explain … that I wanted to get directions to go to my school,” Walker told WDIV.
Zeigler said that he was defending himself in the incident, claiming that Walker was trying to break into his house. Zeigler also said that he tripped and the shotgun went off.
However, the video footage shows him aiming and firing the gun outside his home. Just moments before that, Walker ran away from the doorstep.
“When I saw that video … I was shocked,” detective Shawn Pace said in court on Oct. 9, the Oakland Press reported. “I knew which direction I had to go,” he said. “I was offended by what I had seen.”
Zeigler also gave an odd interview, Pace said.
“He took a big drink of water, looked at me and said, ‘I’m tired of being a victim,’” Pace said in court. “That was it.”
Zeigler also stated that he meant to fire the shot as a warning, saying that his foot slipped. “I felt extremely remorseful and I was just shocked,” he said, Fox2 reported.
He noted that he would have given Walker a ride to school if he could relive the moment.
Wife Speaks Out
Zeigler’s wife, Dana Zeigler, said she was getting ready for work during the April 12 incident when she saw a teen wearing a skull cap. “What are you doing on my porch?” she asked him, according to the Detroit News.
“I am on my way to school,” she recalled him saying. 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.
Although some media outlets have focused on Zeigler being white and the teen being black, neither the defense nor the prosecution has argued that the incident was racially motivated, the Detroit News reported.
In 2004, Zeigler was convicted of firing a handgun at a motorist during an incident.
Zeigler, if convicted, could potentially face life in prison.