Please verify

Watch LIVE

Retired firefighter gets up to 10 years for firing shotgun at black teen

Retired firefighter Jeffrey Zeigler was given a sentence of up to 10 years for firing a shotgun at a black teenager, who was lost and seeking directions to the high school. (Image source: Video screenshot)

A retired Michigan firefighter has been sentenced up to 10 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of shooting at a black teenager who was lost and knocked on the man's front door.

On Wednesday, Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, received two to 10 years for one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and two years for felony firearm, WXYZ-TV reported.

"I'd like to apologize to the family for my actions on that morning," Zeigler said during his sentencing hearing.

The Rochester Hills man was convicted on both counts Oct. 12.

What happened?

On April 12, Brennan Walker showed up on the Zeigler's front porch at about 8:20 a.m. after he missed the school bus.

"I knocked on the door, stepped back, knocked, stepped back, and then a lady came downstairs yelling at me," the 14-year-old told WDIV-TV earlier this year. "She asked me, 'Why are you trying to break into my house?' and I told her I was just looking for directions to Rochester High."

Zeigler, a retired Detroit firefighter, said he awoke to his wife screaming and that she believed someone was trying to break into his home. When he came downstairs armed with a gun, Brennan started running.

"I turned back and I saw him aiming at me," said Brennan.

Home surveillance video captured the homeowner firing one round from his shotgun toward Brennan after he ran away.

Police said the man had the safety on the gun at first, but then he took aim a second time.

"I was running away ... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot," Brennan said.

Zeigler's wife called the police and reported that a black male had tried to break into her house, according to reports.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard believes there is no way to justify what happened.

What did Zeigler say?

At the sentencing hearing, Zeigler apologized and said he regretted what had transpired that morning.

"I have full remorse and regret, and I wish I could change something, but we can’t go back in time," Zeigler said.

Walker's mother, Lisa Wright, told she believed his remorse was only because of the media attention the case received.

"This will affect my son forever," Wright said, according to NBC News.

Walker was not injured during the incident.

What else?

The Oakland County judge said Zeigler will serve two years for each count and that he would be eligible for parole after four years.

Most recent
All Articles