At the age of 14, Brennan Walker was nearly killed for asking a white man for directions on how to get to his high school. Now Walker is graduating high school early and heading to Florida Memorial University in Miami, according to Detroi’s FOX 2.
3 years ago, Brennan Walker “was nearly killed asking for directions to high school” by Rochester Hills man outside a home. After suffering depression, he recovered, became student council pres, graduated a semester early & headed to Florida college, HBCU https://t.co/QgDE0TECJm
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) June 12, 2021
“It doesn’t mentally impact me as much as it used to, but I think about the events every day,” Walker told FOX 2.
In 2018, FOX 2 reported that Brennan was simply looking for help at a Rochester Hills home. He knocked on a stranger’s door. A man confronted the student with a gun, assuming that the lost teenager was trying to break into his house. Brennan—who was unfamiliar with the walking route to Rochester High School— missed his bus because he woke p late. He did not have his cell phone, so he needed a little help.
“I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot, Brennan told FOX 2.
The shooter missed. After running and hiding, Brennan escaped becoming another hashtag. The disturbing case ended up making national news.
This video footage was shown in court today in a trial where a suspected white supremacist named Jeffrey Ziegler tried to murder a 14 y/o Black child who was lost and knocked on his door to ask for directions. Initially, Ziegler & his wife lied & said the child tried to break in pic.twitter.com/ZQSvwDXLmj
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) October 11, 2018
The man who shot at the teenager was a retired Detroit firefighter named Jeffrey Zeigler. NBC News said that Zeigler was found guilty of assault with attempt to do great bodily harm. An additional charge included addition possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Zeigler was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Brennan was not in a good emotional or mental place; the event impacted his ability to do his schoolwork for a period of time. Counseling and teachers at the Alternative Center for Education in Rochester assisted the student to help him to resume accomplishing goals.
“Eventually I pulled myself together and got through it and I became student council president at the school I was at, and I was also vice president for a while,” Brennan also told Fox 2.
With the additional help of family and friends, Brennan’s story ended on a positive note.