Jeffrey Zeigler was arrested for firing his gun at a 14-year-old boy who was lost in the neighborhood. The incident was recorded on Zeigler’s home surveillance system on April 12, 2018. Prosecutors showed that footage to a jury on October 11, 2018.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Video Shows Jeffrey Zeigler Aim His Gun at Brennan Morrow as the Teen Runs Away
53-year-old Jeffrey Zeigler of Rochester Hills, Michigan, told responding deputies he thought the teen was a potential robber. He said his wife was screaming that someone was trying to break into the house. Zeigler claimed he slipped once he got outside and that the gun had gone off accidentally.
But the surveillance video, which does not have audio, reveals a different story. 14-year-old Brennan Walker was seen walking up to the front door. He stands there for about 40 seconds after either knocking or ringing a doorbell. At :53, Walker suddenly turns and sprints away.
The video quickly reveals Zeigler coming out of the house, shirtless and holding a shotgun. Zeigler stands and takes aim, firing the gun once. He does not slip, as he originally told police. Luckily, the gunshot did not hit Walker and he was not hurt.
Brennan Walker Told Police He Had Missed His Bus & Got Lost Trying to Walk to School
Deputy Travis Dick responded to the scene that day, and found Brennan Walker nearby. The Detroit News reported that on the witness stand, the deputy testified that Walker was crying and was shaken up, but was otherwise unharmed.
Walker explained to deputies that he had missed the school bus that morning. He tried to walk, but got lost. Another neighbor, identified as James McFee, told officials that Walker had knocked on his door first. McFee said the directions were a bit complex, and that Walker had seemed “a bit nervous but polite.”
The teen apparently needed additional help trying to navigate out of the subdivision. He said that’s why he knocked on the Zeigler’s front door. He told WDIV-TV back in April that after he knocked on the door, “a lady came downstairs yelling at me. She asked me, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ and I told her I was just looking for directions to Rochester High.”
Moments later, Zeigler appeared with the gun and Walker took off running. “I turned back and I saw him aiming at me. I was trying to run away fast and I heard a gunshot.”