Porch Shooting Case: Homicide Charge For Homeowner Who Killed Renisha McBride

The porch shooting that left 19-year-old Renisha McBride dead has led to homicide charges for the man who mistook the girl for an intruder and shot her in the face.

McBride was seeking help after a car accident in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn Heights in the early morning hours of November 2 when she came to the house of 54-year-old Theodore P. Wafer.

The homeowner later told police he thought Renisha McBride was trying to break into his home, and he responded with a shotgun blast to the face. Police did not say where there were signs of forced entry, but Wafer’s version of the porch shooting did not seem to stand with evidence that investigators found.

“These are the appropriate charges and he did not act in lawful self-defense,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

On Friday the prosecutor’s office announced that Wafer is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, as well as possession of a firearm during the attempted commission of a felony or commission of a felony.

Earlier this week medical examiners had ruled Renisha McBride’s death a homicide.

Theodore Wafer is not currently in custody for the porch shooting charge, but Worthy said prosecutors will ask him to turn himself in to police.

Police have released little evidence in the porch shooting, but did say a toxicology report showed that McBride had marijuana in her system and a blood alcohol content of close to 0.22, which would be more than twice the legal limit for driving.

The Renisha McBride porch shooting case has parallels to the killing of Trayvon Martin last year. In both cases, a homeowner killed an unarmed black teenager they believed to be committing a burglary, and both states have a controversial self-defense law that allows homeowners to use lethal force if they believe their life is in danger.