Mother furious after White man who shot at her teen son for asking directions is granted early parole

Francis Akhalbey February 24, 2023
Jeffrey Ziegler (left) shot at then-14-year-old Brennan Walker (right) after he knocked on his door for directions -- Left Photo: Oakland County Sheriff's Office | Right Photo: WDIV

Jeffrey Ziegler, the White man who was convicted of shooting at a Black teen after he knocked on his door for directions, will soon be released from prison after he was granted early parole, per FOX 2 Detroit.

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the near-death encounter occurred on April 12, 2018, when a then-14-year-old Brennan Walker missed his school bus and knocked on Zeigler’s door in Rochester Hills to ask for directions to Rochester High School. That day could have been the end of the road for him because Zeigler pulled out a shotgun and shot at Brennan with the assumption that the Black teenager was a burglar.

In November 2018, Zeigler was sentenced to four to ten years in prison. However, the parole recently granted to Zeigler means he wouldn’t have to serve the remaining years of his prison sentence. He is also set to be a free man in less than two months’ time. Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, has registered her displeasure with the Parole Board’s decision.

“He never admitted to what he did in trial court, in appeal court, in a letter, nothing,” Wright told the news outlet. “He has not shown remorse, he is still going with the story that he slipped and fell.”

The Parole Board sent Wright a letter some two weeks ago to notify her about Ziegler’s imminent release. The letter stated that Ziegler, who is being held at the Bellamy Creek correctional facility, will be released either on April 11 or around that period. The near-fatal 2018 incident happened on April 12.

“That was like jabbing a knife in my heart and turning it,” Wright said in reference to Ziegler’s release date. “I was just like, it’s the same day. like are you serious?”

The parole board approved Ziegler’s release after they interviewed him, the State Department of Corrections said, per FOX 2 Detroit. The MDOC claims Ziegler has mostly stayed out of trouble during his incarceration, adding that he faced disciplinary action just once for being “out of place.”

“I think the parole board made the correct decision, under all the circumstances, and I’m glad that he’s going to be able to rejoin his family,” Paul Stablein, the attorney who appealed  Ziegler’s case, said.

Brennan refused to share his thoughts about Ziegler’s release as he said he was not comfortable talking about it. And though the incident happened five years ago, Wright said her son has not gotten over the near-death encounter.

“He’s pretty much blocked it out entirely,” she said. “It still affects him very much. He still can’t really talk about it, without the emotions spewing from him.”

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