As friends and family gathered Friday to say goodbye to 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was reportedly shot while seeking help, the lawyer for the man implicated in the shooting said evidence would show her client’s actions were "justified," reports show.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich., attorney Cheryl Carpenter told the Huffington Post that the 54-year-old homeowner, who lives alone, contacted her after the shooting occurred Nov. 2 on the front porch of his home in Dearborn Heights, Mich. He has not been named by police and no charges have been filed.
In an interview with the Detroit News, Carpenter said, "I’m confident when the evidence comes, it will show that my client was justified and acted as a reasonable person would who was in fear for his life." She did not comment on a report that the homeowner told police he had discharged his shotgun accidentally.
While the race of the shooter has not yet been revealed, McBride’s death has rankled a nation in the throes of grappling with the dangers of racial profiling, gun control and "Stand your ground" laws in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of Jonathan Ferrell and Trayvon Martin. The shootings ignited calls for justice around the country. The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network was slated to hold a rally in Detroit today to protest the fact that an arrest has not been made.
The unarmed McBride died after she was shot in the face after arriving on the homeowner's doorstep following a car accident near the city line in Detroit, reports show. Police estimate that the crash occurred Nov. 2 about 1:30 a.m., and the shooting took place at about 3:40 a.m. McBride's cell phone had lost power and she may have gone in search of help, her family says.
Her funeral was held Friday at House of Prayer and Praise Cathedral on Detroit’s west side, the Detroit Free Press reports. The funeral program for the nearly three-hour service was replete with images of McBride smiling at a Disney theme park, holding a puppy and spending time with family and friends.
"The message was it’s a tragedy that didn’t have to happen, and not to let this be swept under the rug," Kay Lumpkin, McBride’s maternal great-aunt of Dearborn Heights, told the Detroit Free Press.