Thoughts On the Renisha McBride Killing

More and more this case looks like a tragedy that did not need to happen. The homeowner is in deep trouble for his failure to prepare.

Some preliminary lessons:

  1. Mentally run through likely scenarios and incorporate “No-Shoot” and “Shoot outcomes”
    • Mentally preparing yourself will make you less “jumpy”
  2. There is no such thing as an “accidental discharge” only a negligent discharge.
    • It sounds like Theodore Wafer may have had his finger on the shotgun trigger when he was not ready to fire.
  3. If someone is frantically pounding on your front door, hold your fire and assess the situation.
    • It looks like Theodore Wafer may have acted rashly on limited information about the situation as well.
    • Assess the situation and see who it is at the door.
  4. Prepare your home in advance to maximize your advantage
  5. If an unknown contact  is knocking on your door and asking to come into your house to use your phone, offer to dial the number for them and call whoever they need to call.
    • Be polite yet firm about this.
    • Someone with good intentions will understand your refusal to let them inside, a “land shark” will change their story or scurry away. 
Page 1 of 2 Nov 12, 2013 12:21:52AM MST
New details emerge on Renisha McBride’s accident in hours before her
By Elisha Anderson and Gina Damron Filed Under Local News Wayne County Dearborn
Nov. 11
It was shortly before 1 a.m. Nov. 2 and Renisha McBride was involved in an accident with a parked
vehicle in Detroit.
More than two hours later and six blocks away, she was shot in the face by a man who told police he
thought someone was breaking into his Dearborn Heights home. The 54-year-old homeowner, according
to police, said his 12-gauge shotgun discharged accidentally.
What happened during the hours between the accident and McBride’s death on the front porch of a home
in the 16800 block of West Outer Drive remains a mystery. New details surfaced in the controversial case
Monday, raising more questions about the 19-year-old’s death.
Her family has said they believe McBride, who is black, went up to the house seeking help after the
accident and was racially profiled.
Dearborn Heights police, though, said last week that there is no indication that race had anything to do
with the shooting. Their investigation into the shooting, which happened around 3:40 a.m., is continuing.
Just before 1 a.m. Nov. 2, police received a call about a no-injury accident at Bramell and Majestic on the
city’s west side. Detroit police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said the 911 caller said a woman had been
speeding down the street, struck a parked car, got out of the vehicle and then left.
Police initially considered the incident a low priority, so no officers were immediately dispatched, he said.
Officers responded to the scene about 40 minutes later after they got a second call saying the woman had
returned, but she was gone when police and EMS arrived.
A source familiar with the investigation said that the vehicle involved in the accident was a 2004 Ford
Taurus registered to McBride’s father. The vehicle suffered front-end damage and was towed.
An attorney representing McBride’s family told the Free Press he heard that McBride was confused after
the accident and repeatedly said she “wanted to go home.”
“I received a phone call on Friday from a woman who said that she lived in the neighborhood and had
heard the crash,” attorney Gerald Thurswell said. “It was her understanding that after the crash, Renisha
got out of the car, she was bleeding and that somebody called 911.”
Thurswell said the woman did not give her name, but told him an investigator with the Wayne County
Prosecutor’s Office was in the area on Friday talking to residents. He said he was told that McBride,
saying she wanted to go home, started walking down the street and a neighbor tried to find her but wasn’t
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment on whether the office is interviewing
Page 2 of 2 Nov 12, 2013 12:21:52AM MST
Wayne County prosecutors said in a statement Monday that they have begun the warrant review process
and will release information when they determine if charges will be filed in the case.
“The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is waiting for several items relating to the investigation from the
Dearborn Heights Police Department at this time,” the statement from spokeswoman Maria Miller said.
Meanwhile, civil rights leaders have called for a thorough investigation of the case.
McBride’s death was ruled a homicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, which released
her autopsy report Monday. According to the report, McBride was shot in the face, not the back of the
head as her family initially had said.
“There was an entrance shotgun wound to the face, with no evidence of close-range discharge of a
firearm noted on the skin surrounding this wound,” according to the report.
As police investigate, McBride’s loved ones are waiting for answers.
“We have to get all the facts,” Thurswell said.

Death of 19-year-old woman shot on Detroit porch ruled homicide

Joshua Lott / Reuters

A mourner holds an obituary displaying a picture of Renisha McBride during her funeral service in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 8, 2013. McBride was shot dead on Nov. 2 at a home in a suburb of Detroit. On Monday, her death was ruled a homicide.

By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News

An autopsy report on a 19-year-old woman, who was shot and killed on a front porch in Detroit, determined that she was shot in the face, and a medical examiner ruled her death a homicide Monday.

Renisha McBride was shot on Nov. 2 with “no evidence of close range discharge,” according to a report released by the Wayne County Medical Examiner.

McBride’s family said that she had gotten into a car accident and was shot by a man whose house she approached in an attempt to seek help. The external portion of the autopsy report said McBride’s clothing was wet.

The 54-year-old homeowner’s lawyer, Cheryl Carpenter, toldThe Detroit News that her client woke up in the middle of the night fearing someone was trying to break into his house.

Still, McBride’s family insists the 54-year-old’s actions were racially-charged.

“It’s hard to … believe it’s an accident when a gun is in her face and the trigger is pulled,” the family’s attorney, Gerald Thurswell, told The Detroit News.

The case has drawn attention from civil rights groups and protestors who are likening the shooting to those of Trayvon Martin and Jonathan Ferrell, the former college football player who was shot and killed by police in North Carolina as he sought help after a car accident.

McBride’s death “raises many questions about preconceptions, bias, profiling, motive and more … when no arrest has been made and no charges filed, what sort of signal are the authorities sending,” National Action Network President Rev. Al Sharpton wrote in a blog post Monday.

Facebook page called “Justice for Renisha McBride” has garnered 3,730 “likes.”

Prosecutors told the Associated Press they’re investigating further to determine whether or not to charge the 54-year-old man.

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Posted in Awareness, Home Defense, In the News
3 comments on “Thoughts On the Renisha McBride Killing
  1. Reblogged this on Why.Race.Still.Matters and commented:
    Very practical, yet insightful points!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RealDefense says:

    Reblogged this on RealDefense and commented:

    Theodore P. Wafer was found guilty today of second degree murder. The lesson here is to plan out your home defense thoroughly and have a clear system for answering your door that minimizes your risk of both assault and a negligent discharge.


  3. sirdanmur says:

    Did he shoot her through the front door, or did he open the door first?

    Immediate claims of “racism” and “profiling” tend to discredit any case the victims family may have. Why do they seek a deeper more sinister motive behind the homicide than simply, he shot her, he claims it was an accident, let the courts decide.

    It’s frustrating because the man did act stupidly, but I also question why Renisha left the scene of an accident, She had help right there, she didn’t need to wander for 3 hours. Possibly she was disoriented from a concussion, I’d accept that. Apart from some medical reason she acted stupidly in this situation.

    Good points on home defense, be rational, don’t jump to wild conclusions but be aware. Sad case all around.


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