When 14-year-old Brennan Walker missed his bus on Thursday morning, he decided to walk to his high school in Rochester Hills, Michigan. After he got lost, he knocked on a door hoping to get directions. Instead, he ended up running for his life from a man who allegedly fired his weapon at the black teenager.
Authorities on Thursday responded to a 911 call from a woman who said that a black male was trying to break into her house and that her husband had chased him into the yard, according to an incident report from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies located Walker down the street from the woman’s house. The teen told authorities that he had missed his bus to Rochester High School and was walking to school when he got lost.
He knocked on a resident’s door to ask for directions. However, the woman who opened the door believed that Walker was trying to break into her house and rob her.
Her husband then chased after Walker with a 12-gauge shotgun and fired a round towards the teen as he was running away from the house. No one was injured in the incident, the sheriff’s office said.
The 53-year-old man was arrested and taken into custody at Oakland County Jail. The sheriff’s office did not identify him as he had not been formally charged as of Friday morning.
Walker told WXYZ that after he knocked on the door, the woman began yelling at him and accusing him of breaking into her house before he could say anything.
“I was trying to explain to her that I wanted to get directions to go to my school,” Walker said. “I told her ‘No, I go to Rochester High, I’m just looking for directions to Rochester High.'”
Walker said that he put his hands up and began to run after he saw the man in the house holding a shotgun.
“I looked back behind me, I saw him aiming at me, and I turned back. I turned back and I heard the gunshot. And I tried to run faster,” the teen told WXYZ.
Walker’s mother, Lisa Wright, told local TV stations that a security video at the suspect’s house recorded the interaction between her son and the homeowners. She said that the woman in the video could be heard saying, “Why did these people choose my house?”
“After watching the video and hearing the wife say, ‘Why did these people choose my house,’ I knew it was racially motivated,” Wright told WXYZ. She also described it as a hate crime.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office did not confirm the existence of the video or provide further details to BuzzFeed News.
However, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told local news stations to expect criminal charges for the suspect in custody, calling the incident “unacceptable on every level.”
“It is just absurd that this happened,” Bouchard told Fox 2 News. “I feel terrible for the young man; I feel terrible for the mom and the anxiety that they had to go through. We are going to ask for every charge permissible for this guy, who stepped up and fired a shotgun because someone knocked on his door.”
A spokesperson for Rochester High School told BuzzFeed News that they were aware of the incident, but did not provide further details.
“My mom says that black boys get shot because sometimes they don’t look their age, and I don’t look my age,” Walker told Fox 2 News. “I’m 14; but I don’t look 14. I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic,” he said.