Ex-firefighter sentenced to 4 years for shooting a black teen who asked for directions to school

Jaimie-lee Prince
Nov 14, 2018
09:36 P.M.
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Jeffrey Zeigler has been sentenced for almost killing a young teen back in April 2018. The young boy was only asking for directions at the time.


Brennan Walker, 14, is only alive today due to a stroke of luck. When Zeigler pointed a shotgun at him on April 12, he could have been hit.

At the time, the young boy had missed the bus to school and was asking for directions. Walker explained that when he knocked on a nearby door a woman answered.

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But instead of listening, the woman shouted out to her husband Zeigler. She said someone was trying to break in.

The 53-year-old then came running down the stairs with no shirt on and holding a gun. Walker caught sight of the man and immediately took off running. Zeigler pointed the gun in his direction and shot at him once.


During the court proceedings in the Oakland County courtroom, Walker's mother Lisa Wright was present. According to Business Insider, she insisted it was obvious that race played a factor in the incident.

"I try to keep race out of it, but we all know that's what it was," Wright said to the judge.

Zeigler first claimed that he tripped and the gun went off accidentally. But surveillance cameras revealed this to be inaccurate.


He then attempted to defend himself by saying he meant to give a warning shot in the air. The former firefighter said he was full of "remorse and regret" after what happened.

Wright is not buying. She said:

“I don’t feel like he’s remorseful. I don’t feel like he’s shown remorse.”

Regarding the effects on the 14-year-old, assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins said: 

"He almost took the life of another human being. That will forever stay with Brennan — forever. His perception of strangers, his perception of other people, his perception of the world."


Source: Facebook/ This Is Insider

Of course, Zeigler denied that race played a role in the incident. But Wright also made a jolting statement:


“If there was a button that I could press for me to pick what color I could be, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with this type of stuff, I would have to be your color just so I could survive."

Presiding Judge Wendy Potts did not mention race. Yet, according to the Oakland Press, she conclusively stated:

“Shooting at a teenager (who is) leaving your premises has consequences. Fortunately, no physical injury occurred.”


The Michigan judge sentenced Zeigler to four to 10 years in prison. He was convicted for assault with attempt to do great bodily harm and for possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Zeigler said before that he has "done a lot of soul searching (since the incident)" and that he wished he "could change something."

Yet even his attorney agreed that the evidence was against him, particularly the video. Zeigler bowed his head upon hearing the sentence.

He will be eligible for parole after the first four years.


Meanwhile, the Parkland teenage shooter has drawn outrage from the public and victims' families.

Nicolas Cruz, then 19, was on the other end of the gun when he allegedly killed 17 people in February 2018.

Recently, it was revealed that he and several other accused persons in the Broward County were registered to vote.


One parent who lost his daughter in the shooting was particularly expressive about the situation. Andrew Pollack took to Twitter to express his feelings.

Online, many pointed out that despite his obvious guilt, Cruz had not been convicted. Therefore it was perfectly legal for him to vote.

Cruz is expected to be sentenced in the coming months. It is unknown if he took part in the recent elections.

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