Renisha McBride Is Dead, and ‘Stand Your Ground’ Questions Emerge

No charges have been filed yet in the shooting death of a Detroit woman who sought help after a car accident.

Screenshot of Renisha McBride; Floridians protest "Stand your ground" gun laws in 2012.
Screenshot of Renisha McBride; Floridians protest "Stand your ground" gun laws in 2012. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

According to Serwatowski, the shooting occurred about 3:40 a.m., and the accident happened at about 1:30 a.m. The lieutenant wouldn’t comment on what the police believe happened before and after the accident.

Police seized the homeowner’s 12-gauge shotgun, and the Michigan State Police crime lab is analyzing it, Serwatowski told the Free Press.

No arrests have been made, but police in Dearborn Heights submitted a warrant request to the county prosecutor’s office on Wednesday leveling “unspecified” charges in connection with the case, the Free Press reported.

“I know the family is anxious to see this man [the alleged shooter] charged,” Serwatowski told the Free Press, “but the prosecutor’s office is telling us they want a lot more information before they make a decision.”

For the public, at least, questions remain about what, if anything, may have happened to arouse fear and suspicion after McBride knocked on the Dearborn Heights door; why someone behind the door felt the need to involve, much less use, a shotgun during the exchange; and whether the gun was accidentally or intentionally fired.

Bernita Spinks, McBride’s aunt, described her niece as a sweet person who did not get into trouble.

As a result, McBride’s family, gun control advocates and anti-“Stand your ground” activists have described her shooting death as utterly unjustified. Several have also voiced suspicions that Michigan’s “Stand your ground” law may also be shaping the local prosecutor’s response.

Activists have planned a rally at 6 p.m. on Thursday outside the Dearborn Heights Police station. “Black life is not valued in America, not worthy, not respected,” Detroit activist Yusef Shaker, who is leading the rally, told the Free Press. “Here was a woman who was seeking help from potential danger and her life was taken … It’s a Trayvon Martin case all over again.”

McBride lived in neighboring Detroit, a city that is 83 percent black and where the median income sits just under $28,000 a year. Police in Dearborn Heights, a city where 86 percent of the population is white and the median income sits around $47,000 a year, have not released the shooter’s name, race or said whether the weapon used in the McBride shooting was legally purchased, or owned.