ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) - A retired Detroit firefighter is facing life in prison after he shot at a black teen who was knocking on the door of his Rochester Hills home, looking for directions.
Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, has been identified as the man deputies say pulled a shotgun on a 14-year-old teen. During his arraignment, he tried to make a statement about what happened when the family heard a knock at the door.
"There is a lot more to the story ad I think that will all come out in court," Zeigler said earlier this month at his arraignment. "I was in bed yesterday morning when my wife started screaming and crying."
Judge Julie Nicholson cut him off then, saying she didn't want to hear the facts of the case. She then issued a $50,000 cash bond with conditions. One is that he can't be 10 miles from Brennan Walker's home, the 14 year old he allegedly shot at.
"I am asking that I stay in the same house and keep my family together, I'm begging," Zeigler pleaded.
Zeigler was charged with assault with intent to murder, possession of a firearm while committing a felony. He's due back in court on April 24th and has a preliminary hearing on May 1st.
Zeigler's home is where Brennan came to ask for directions to Rochester High School after missing the bus. Walker was trying to walk the bus route to Rochester High School after he woke up late and missed his bus. His mom had taken his phone away, so he didn't have that with him to get directions. So he knocked on a stranger's door for help -- and almost paid for it with his life.
"I saw a neighborhood watch sign and I thought it was an OK place to go to," he told FOX 2.
Zeigler's wife allegedly accused him of breaking in, but home security camera tells a different story. We're told Zeigler came downstairs holding a 12-gauge shotgun pointed at the teen.
"He didn't say anything to me he just looked really angry so I started to run because I didn't know what he was going to do," Walker said.
Brennan's mother says the video shows him holding his hands up and running away - then Zeigler allegedly fired a shot missing him.
"My mom says that, black boys get shot because sometimes they don't look their age, and I don't look my age. I'm 14; but I don't look 14. I'm kind of happy that, like, I didn't become a statistic," he said Thursday night.
Lisa Wright, his mother, says when she watched the video, she was even more angered by what she heard.
"One of the things that stands out, that probably angers me the most is, while I was watching the tape, you can hear the wife say, 'Why did "these people" choose my house?'" she says, before taking a long pause. "Who are, "these people?" And that set me off. I didn't want to believe it was what it appeared to look like. When I heard her say that, it was like, but it is [what it looks like]."
That video has not been released by police.