Family Wants Charges After Black Teen Shot Following Car Accident

Michigan authorities are investigating the death of a young black woman who was shot to death outside a home where her family believes she was seeking help after a car accident.
By CHRISTINA NG

Michigan authorities are investigating the death of a young black woman who was shot to death outside a home where her family believes she was seeking help after a car accident.

Renisha McBride, 19, was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Dearborn Heights, Mich.

McBride's family believes she was going door-to-door looking for help after her car broke down and her cell phone was dead. She was shot as she was leaving the suspect's porch, according to Detroit Pastor W.J. Rideout.

McBride's family reached out to Rideout, who is also a civil and human rights activist, to be "a voice for the family," Rideout said, and to "let Americans know we have to do something about this and it has to stop."

"This is a senseless murder," Rideout told ABCNews.com. "We will not tolerate another Trayvon Martin, another Jonathan Ferrell. And here we have Renisha McBride, the third African-American who didn't have a weapon in her hand and didn't do anything to deserve being shot."

In September, former Florida A&M University football player Jonathan Ferrell, 24, was gunned down by a police officer while looking for help at a woman's home after a car crash.

In 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder this summer.

Rideout participated in a vigil for McBride on Wednesday night and a protest outside of the accused shooter's home.

Police are releasing very few details about McBride's death. Dearborn Heights Lt. James Serwatowski said that she was shot in the head, but said he could not give any more information due to the ongoing investigation.

He said reports that McBride was shot in the back of the head while walking off the porch are "totally inaccurate."

"She was in a car accident, but I don't know if she was trying to get help or what she was doing," Serwatowski said.

Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Mary Mazur said that McBride suffered a shotgun wound to the head and her death was ruled a homicide.

Rideout said, "Wherever she was shot ... she was shot defenselessly. She didn't have a weapon and my stance is that she should never have been shot, whether it was in front, back side, whatever."

The lieutenant said a male suspect has been interviewed, but no arrest has been made and information about the suspect or what he said cannot be made public until the prosecutor reviews possible charges.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office refused to issue a warrant earlier this week.

"We were presented with a warrant request on Tuesday and we have asked the police to do some further investigation on the case and until we receive that work, we won't be able to continue and make a decision," Wayne County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Maria Miller told ABCNews.com.

Rideout and McBride's family are demanding that authorities "bring charges expeditiously" on the shooter.
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