Ex-Firefighter Who Shot At Black Teen Looking For Directions To School Sentenced To Prison

All Brennan Walker did was miss the school bus.

Photo credit:Photo Credit: Screenshot/Fox2

| November 13 2018,

2:06 pm

Update (November 13, 2018): The retired firefighter found guilty of firing a shotgun at a Michigan teen asking for directions was sentenced to four to 10 years in prison Tuesday.

NBC News reports Jeffrey Zeigler was convicted October 12 in an Oakland County court to one count of assault with intent to do bodily harm and one count of felony firearm. The 53-year-old will serve his sentences consecutive -- two years for the assault count and two years for felony firearm.

On April 12, 14-year-old Brennan Walker approached Zeigler's home in need of directions after missing the school bus. Zeigler grabbed his shotgun and shot several times at the teen intending to fire warning shots in the air. But the shots were aimed directly at Brennan.

The teen managed to escape without injury.

"I wanted to fire more up in the air, more towards my shoulder, and I didn't get the chance to because like I said, it was slippery, and I didn't have a good grip on the gun," Zeigler testified.

"I felt extremely remorseful. And I was -- I was just shocked." According to CBS News, Zeigler will be eligible for parole after four years.

Update (October 12, 2018):  A 53-year-old Michigan man was convicted of assault with attempt to murder on Friday after shooting at a black teen asking for his directions on his way to school. 

NBC News reports Jeffrey Ziegler of Rochester Hills, Michigan, is in police custody with no bail after a jury found him guilty of the April incident that targeted 14-year-old Brennan Walker. The teen missed his school bus and knocked on Zeigler's door for assistance with directions. Zeigler, a retired firefighter, shot at the teen. During the trial, which began on Tuesday, Ziegler claimed he meant to fire upward, but the gun was "slippery." He was also convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to carry out a felony. 

Original story: Michigan teen Brennan Walker did something many teens typically have done in April. The 14-year-old freshman at Rochester High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan, missed the school bus and decided to walk to school. He ended up being shot when he asked for help with directions. 

Walker told Detroit Fox 2 News that he attempted to walk the bus route to school but had difficulty because he didn't have his phone to rely on for directions. The teenager knocked on someone’s door for assistance, and when a woman came to the door, she immediately accused him of trying to break into her home. 

"I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady's door," Walker explained to Fox 2. "Then she started yelling at me and she was like, 'Why are you trying to break into my house?' I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me..." 


Walker told Fox 2 that a man then came to the door, grabbed a gun and opened fire as Walker ran away. The teen was not hit. 

"Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run," Walker said. "And that's when I heard the gunshot." He later added that he was happy he didn't "become a statistic."

Walker's mother, Lisa, told WXYZ that security video proves the incident was racially motivated. 

"After watching the video and hearing the wife say 'why did these people choose my house,' I knew it was racially motivated," she said. 

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told WXYZ that the incident could result in criminal charges. 

"If someone is running from your house and chase them outside and shoot at them, you’re going to have criminal charges coming from us," he said. 

Fox 2 reported the man accused of shooting at Walker has been taken in custody.