A retired Michigan firefighter is in hot water after firing two warning shots at a 14-year-old boy.
53-year-old Jeffrey Zeigler can be seen on home surveillance footage firing two blasts at 14-year-old Brenna Walker, who allegedly came to the front door of Zeigler’s home after he “got lost” on his way to school.
Zeigler was dispatched to the door after he heard his wife screaming that someone was breaking in. It was not until he reviewed the surveillance footage that he realized Walker was much younger than she described him.
According to the Daily Mail, Zeigler was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder and possessing a firearm.
In court, Zeigler’s wife said that she was fearful and that the young man’s actions were menacing.
“I was screaming as loud as I possibly could, saying somebody is breaking into my house,’ Dana Zeigler testified. “I saw a black person standing at my door and I screamed at him and I asked him what he was doing there. He tells me that he is going to school and at that point he approaches the door, forward momentum, comes forward, opens the screen door, and puts his hand on the door handle again, as though he’s coming into my house.”
“He didn’t look like a child,” she told the court. “He was a rather big man standing there, and also, if he was going to school, we have no schools in our area.”
Wanting to defend his home, Zeigler immediately dashed out the door and fired two warning shots.
“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,” he recounted.
Warning shots are illegal in most American jurisdictions, particularly in incorporated areas.
In hindsight, Zeigler claims that if he could have done something differently, would have given the young man a ride to school.
The Zeiglers’ residence had been burglarized three times in two years, according to testimony from a police detective.
The trial is scheduled to end today, when the jury will then deliberate before rendering a verdict.