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Unarmed Teen Was 'Hurt' Before 'Porch Shooting'

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
One of the last people to see Renisha McBride before she was shot to death on a Detroit porch testified today that the teen appeared scared and disoriented after crashing into a parked car.

Carmen Beasley said she heard a loud bang outside her suburban Detroit home around 1 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 2, 2013. When she got a closer look, Beasley said she saw her husband's parked car had been hit.

She called 911 and went outside to help McBride, she said.

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"I told her she was injured and we needed to get an ambulance," Beasley said. "I didn't want to be intrusive, but I knew she was hurt."

Beasley said McBride appeared drunk, confused and was staggering and didn't know her home phone number when she asked for it. McBride walked away from the scene several times, according to Beasley, and disappeared before an ambulance arrived.

Where Renisha McBride was before she was fatally shot on a porch -- and the screen door through which the fatal bullet was apparently fired -- will be crucial evidence in the trial of the Detroit-area man who fired the gun that killed her.

Theodore Wafer, 54, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of McBride, 19, who is black, after she showed up on his porch in Dearborn Heights during the early morning of Nov. 2, 2013.

A jury of seven men and seven women, including two alternates, will decide the case. Four of the jurors are black. Jurors heard from three other witnesses on the first day of testimony.

Earlier in the day, Wafer's defense attorney said during opening arguments that his client had "never been this scared in his life, ever" after hearing a series of booms and saw a shadowy figure outside his home.

"He hears metal breaking on his front door. Ted hears it. He's thinking, 'they're coming in. They're breaking into my house,'" defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter said.

But Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark argued that McBride had played a drinking game with her friend earlier that night, crashed her car and may have been seeking medical help for a cut on her head.

"[Wafer's] actions that night were unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable," she told the jury.

An autopsy released by the Office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled that McBride died of a large gunshot wound to the face. The shot that killed McBride showed "no evidence of close range discharge," according to the report.

In a 911 call released by police, Wafer could be heard saying: "Uh yes ... I just shot somebody on my front porch. With a shot gun. Banging on my door."

When the police asked him what city he was in, Wafer said thank you, and hung up.

Under a 2006 Michigan self-defense law, a homeowner has the right to use force during a break-in. Otherwise, a person must prove his or her life was in danger.

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