A white man who fired a shotgun at Brennan Walker, a 14-year-old school boy, who had knocked on his door to ask for directions, has been sentenced to at least four years in jail.
The man, Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, of Rochester Hills, Michigan, was sentenced to two to 10 years in prison for assault with the intent to commit great bodily harm, and an additional two years for using a firearm during a felony.
The sentences will be served consecutively, which means he will serve at least four years before he is eligible for parole.
Although Walker was not hit, Zeigler’s action sparked issues of racism.
Walker had woken up late for school on the morning of April 12. He missed the bus and decided to walk to Rochester High School, hoping to make it in time for his third-period class in world studies, his favorite subject.
He became lost along the way and did not have his phone or a GPS device with him, so he stopped to ask for help. Surveillance video showed Brennan approaching Zeigler’s house wearing his backpack.
A woman answered the door and began yelling almost immediately, Brennan told The New York Times.
“She didn’t really give me a chance to speak a lot, and I was trying to tell her that I go to Rochester High and I was looking for directions,” Brennan said. “A few moments later the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the shotgun.”
Brennan sprinted away. Zeigler emerged from the home with the shotgun and fired in Brennan’s direction, surveillance video showed.