July 11: Renisha McBride

Renisha McBride
19 yrs old
Shot while seeking help after a car accident.

“Ranisha was a little spoiled” says her cousin Krystal Byrd. “Anything Nisha wanted, she got. Still she was a very sweet lady. She was outgoing. She cared for everybody. If she was around somebody, she’d offer a word of advice and try to cheer them up.”

Another cousin, Monique Hobbs, says McBride had the frustrating habit of making you laugh when you were mad at her. “She just had a wonderful smile that always kept a smile on my face. She loved to sing, she loved to crack jokes. Even if you mad at Ne-Ne, she’s gonna come in the house and say something that’s gonna make you laugh like, get on with your fat self! You know?”

“She wanted to be a police officer,” says Hobbs.  “She always talked about it. A lot of our family members passed away from the streets, from robbery. And she felt like she loved the people in our city and community, that she wanted to help.”

November 2, 2013, 1 am
911 caller reported that a woman had been speeding down the street, struck a parked car, got out of the vehicle, and then left on foot. Police initially considered the incident a low priority, so no officers were immediately dispatched.
1:40 am Another call came in saying that the driver had returned. EMS arrived on the scene, but McBride had walked away from the scene and was not treated.
The owner of the parked car talked to Renisha McBride and called 911. The owner told police that McBride was “discombobulated” and appeared to be in a “confused, she didn’t know where she was and couldn’t give a phone number or anything

What Renisha McBride was doing during the next three hours between the crash and the fatal shooting remains unclear. Her family, says that she was looking for help after becoming disoriented by the crash and she may have had a head injury. Whatever the reason, she wound up on the porch of Theodore Paul Wafer, 54.

Around 4:42 am, McBride was shot by Wafer, 54, on the porch of his Dearborn Heights home, more than three hours after she crashed her car about a mile away.  Wafer initially stated to police that he thought his home was being broken into and that he had accidentally fired his 12-gauge shotgun through a screen door, hitting McBride in her head.

“You seen this black African young lady, knocking,” says Bernita Spinx is McBride’s aunt. “Not breaking in your house, not breaking a window – knocking! For help!”

A post-mortem examination report released on Monday confirmed that McBride had been shot in the face, but not at close range. (As claimed by Wafer who said that feared for his life at the time.)

The Wayne County medical examiner’s office report has ruled her death a homicide.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy stated Wafer opened his front door and fired a shotgun blast through a screen door, hitting McBride in her head.

November 15, 2013, the Wayne County’s prosecutor office announced its decision to prosecute Wafer for second degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. Wafer faced a maximum possible sentence of life imprisonment for the second-degree murder charge and 15 years for manslaughter, and an additional two years for the felony gun charge.
June 2014. The trial begins. Wafer’s attorney intended to paint a picture for self defense by showing the jury cellphone pictures where McBride is seen posing with guns, marijuana and cash. Judge Dana Hathaway denied the request noting that “nothing in the photographs establishes a reputation for violent or aggressive behavior”.  Not to mention, it had no bearing on the case because Wafer had no way of knowing about them at the time of the shooting.
August 7, 2014 Wafer was found guilty of all three charges.
September 3, 2014, Wafer was sentenced to 17 to 32 years of prison.


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