DEARBORN HEIGHTS (AP/CBS Detroit) — Michigan prosecutors say they’ve launched a review to decide whether to charge a suburban Detroit homeowner in the shooting death of a 19-year-old woman on his porch.
Wayne County prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Maria Miller said Monday a warrant review process is underway as they await information from Dearborn Heights police. No arrests have been made related to the Nov. 2 death of Renisha McBride, who was shot in the face while in a leafy, predominantly white area of Dearborn Heights.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office released her autopsy report Monday, confirming she was shot in the face and not in the back of the head, as family members first reported.
The case prompted calls for justice from civil rights groups. The 54-year-old homeowner hasn’t been named but told investigators he thought someone was trying to break into his home and he accidentally discharged his shotgun.
Family members of McBride, an African-American, say she likely was seeking help after a car accident.
Messages were left with police and the homeowner’s attorney.
McBride, 19, of Detroit, was killed by a shotgun blast at a home in the 16000 block of Outer Drive around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
David Alexander Bullock, founder of Change Agent Consortium, likened the case to that of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
“Dearborn Heights may have its own Trayvon Martin case. A young African-American woman is dead and the shooter is claiming her death was justified,” Bullock said in a statement. “If this had occurred in Detroit we know what the outcome would have been – the same value placed on white lives should be placed on black lives. We all deserve justice.”
The race and identity of the 54-year-old homeowner, along with the charges against him, have not been released. Police say the man told them he thought someone was trying to break into his home and accidentally discharged the gun.
A vigil was held Wednesday at the man’s home, while about 50 people rallied outside the police department on Thursday.
Protesters walked the streets, passing out fliers to local residents that read in part: “A man in this neighborhood shot and killed a teenaged woman after she sought help following a car accident. … We demand our neighbor who shot and killed teenager Renisha McBride be held accountable for his actions! Call Dearborn police now and demand justice.”
“Enough is enough. Where is this man, who is he connected to and why don’t we know who he is? Why is he not in jail? If my son was 19 and shot somebody he would be under that jail. This is wrong! This is wrong and everybody needs to be out here complaining about it,” Petty told WWJ’s Russ McNamara.
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