UPDATE: According to a new report, police have stated that Renisha McBride was not shot in the back of the head. Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective of the Dearborn Heights police stated that “This girl was not shot in the back of the head while leaving the porch. I don’t know where the family is getting this. She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth.”
“This man’s claiming – believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he’s also saying the gun discharged accidentally,” Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective, said.
An investigation is continuing.
Less than two months after Charlotte police shot and killed an unarmed man who was looking for help after having a car accident, a Michigan teen is dead under similar circumstances, shot in the back of the head as she was walking off the porch of a home where she reportedly sought help late at night.
Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old from Detroit, is presumed to have been asking for help when she knocked on the door of a Dearborn Heights home at 2:30 A.M. on Saturday. McBride's family says the teen had been in a car accident and her cellphone wasn't working. Rather than asking McBride what she wanted, or even simply dialing "911," the homeowner came outside and shot her in the head with a shotgun. According to Renisha's aunt, she had already turned to walk or run away from the home, as the bullet entered the back of her head.
Police reports say the teenager was found dead on the home's front porch.
While the initial reports of McBride's death labeled it a "possible case of self-defense gone wrong," police sent a request to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office asking for charges to be filed against the unnamed resident who shot McBride. But late Wednesday, the office said it sent back the request, seeking more information.
McBride’s aunt Bernita Spinks said she believes the senseless tragedy was a case of racial profiling.
"He shot her in the head ... for what? For knocking on his door," McBride's aunt told the Detroit News. "If he felt scared or threatened, he should have called 911."
“I just want justice,” Spinks said Wednesday. “I’m not going to stop until we get it.”
Michigan currently has a version of a "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows individuals to use deadly force without first retreating if they believe it's necessary to prevent imminent harm or death. State Democratic lawmakers have submitted a bill to repeal the self-defense law, however it seems to have stagnated since its submission in May 2012.