A 14-year-old boy nearly lost his life after being shot at while trying to stop at a home in Rochester Hills, Mich., to ask for directions to school.
According to Brennan Walker, for some reason, the homeowner seemed to think that when he knocked on her door, he wanted to rob her, Fox 2 Detroit reports.
Brennan’s encounter with the homeowner began Thursday morning when he woke up late, missing the bus to school. He tried to walk the bus route to get to Rochester High School but got lost. His mother had taken his phone away, so he couldn’t use that for directions.
So Brennan resorted to the old-school tried-and-true method, stopping and asking for help. Brennan decided to stop at the home he did because he saw a neighborhood-watch sticker on the house, and thought it would be a safe spot to stop.
Apparently, that was not the case.
“I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs and he grabbed the gun. I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot,” he recalled.
The man who shot the weapon thankfully missed, and the terrified Brennan kept running until he found somewhere to hide, and then broke down in tears.
“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,” Brennan told the news station.
Oakland County, Mich., sheriff’s deputies went to the home where the shot was fired and took the woman’s husband into custody.
Meanwhile, Brennan’s mom is still trying to get over the fact that her son almost became a hashtag.
“I found out later the only reason [the man] missed is because he forgot to take the safety off,” Lisa Wright, Brennan’s mom, said.
Wright was at work when she got the call about her son. She initially thought the call was about her husband, who is deployed in Syria, only for her to realize that the issue was stateside. She immediately dropped everything and rushed to be with her son.
She is still stunned by the way her son was treated, apparently solely because of the color of his skin. The homeowner’s Ring doorbell security system apparently recorded the whole ordeal, footage that investigators reviewed alongside Brennan and his mother.
“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?’” Wright pointed out. “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].
“We should not have to live in a society where we have to fend for ourselves. If I have a question, I should be able to turn to my village and knock on a door and ask a question. I shouldn’t be fearful of a child, let alone a skin tone,” Wright added. “This is a decent neighborhood. If anything—why would I knock on your door to rob you?”
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he is equally troubled by the incident.
“It is just absurd that this happened,” the sheriff said. “I feel terrible for the young man; I feel terrible for the mom and the anxiety that they had to go through. We are going to ask for every charge permissible for this guy, who stepped up and fired a shotgun because someone knocked on his door.”
The man who fired the shot, who remains unidentified, is expected to be arraigned sometime Friday.