Autopsy: Renisha McBride Blasted in Face with Shotgun; Still No Charges Filed
The medical examiner’s report on the death of a Detroit teen earlier this month found that the young woman died from a shotgun blast to the face.
Renisha McBride, 19, died in the early morning hours of November 3. According to Detroit police, a 911 caller reported a woman speeding down a street on the city’s west side near the border with Dearborn Heights just after 1 am on Sunday. After the 2008 Ford Taurus driven by McBride crashed into a parked vehicle, the teen reportedly walked away from the scene.
Bleeding from her face and confused, the black teen made her way to the home of an unnamed 54-year-old man who lives six blocks away in the 16800 block of West Outer Drive in predominantly white Dearborn Heights. The homeowner, whose race is also being withheld, told police he shot McBride on his front porch because he thought someone was trying to break into his house.
Voice of Detroit is reporting that the home where McBride was shot, at 16812 Outer Drive, is owned by a white man named Theodore Paul Wafer, although no mainstream media outlet has confirmed or even reported this information.
The slain teen’s family told reporters they believe McBride was seeking help after her accident and ended up a victim of racial profiling.
McBride’s death has been ruled a homicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, which released an autopsy report on Monday. According to the report, McBride was shot in the face by a 12-gauge shotgun, and not at close range.
“There was an entrance shotgun wound to the face, with no evidence of close-range discharge of a firearm,” the report stated.
McBride’s family had initially claimed the teen had been shot in the back of her head.
Cheryl Carpenter, an attorney for the shooter, told the Detroit News she was “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.”
No charges have been filed in the case, although Wayne County prosecutors said they have begun the warrant review process and are determining how to proceed.
Civil rights groups are calling on authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident.
“This shooting must be investigated at every level,” Detroit NAACP president Rev. Wendell Anthony told the Detroit News. “We must bring justice to any person found guilty of this tragedy. This death appears to be an overreaction to a young woman in need of help.”
“Was this racial profiling? Was this shooting warranted when the evidence indicates that Ms. McBride had no weapon, created no disturbance, threatened no break-in, or demonstrated no disrespect to the household in question? So before anyone tried to invoke the issue of ‘stand your ground,’ let us first of all stand on the facts.”