Renisha McBride death: Man who shot teenager claims his gun discharged by accident

Michigan police chief says man who allegedly shot the 19-year-old in the face claims his gun discharged accidentally

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The Independent US

The man who allegedly shot an unarmed black teenager in the face claims he discharged his gun accidentally, according to Michigan police.

Renisha McBride was shot on 2 November while reportedly seeking help after a car accident at 2.30am.

The 19-year-old died after being shot on a man's porch in the middle class Detroit suburb of Dearborn Heights.

Her family had asserted she was shot in the back of the head as she turned to leave a property after asking for help.

However, Dearborn Heights chief detective Lt. James Serwatowski disputed this claim. He said: “This girl was not shot in the back of the head while leaving the porch. I don’t know where the family is getting this. She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth", according to the Detroit Free Press.

The gunman, who has not been identified by police, is understood to have claimed he mistook Ms McBride for an intruder.

Mr Serwatowski said on Thursday: “This man’s claiming – believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he’s also saying the gun discharged accidentally.”

Bernita Spinks, Ms McBride's aunt told Fox Detroit: "This man just came to the door, by somebody just  knocking? She didn't break in his house; she didn't break a window.

"What, you seen somebody on your porch and you just start shooting? And then you say it was accidental? That wasn't accidental; that wasn't accidental, no."

Ms Mcbride's family held a protest outside the Dearborn Heights Police Station yesterday evening, calling for justice over her death.

Prosecutors have requested further information from police and have not at this stage pressed charges, a spokesperson for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told Detroit News.

“We have requested further investigation by the police that must be submitted to our office before a decision will be made,” the spokesperson said. 

Cheryl Carpenter, the attorney representing the unnamed man said she was confident that "when the evidence comes it will show that my client was justified and acted as a reasonable person would who was in fear for his life.”

Like Florida, Michigan also has a 'Stand Your Ground' law, asserting a home-owner's right to use deadly force if they feel their life is in imminent danger or they face physical harm or sexual assault. Some have compared her death to that of Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was later acquitted of manslaughter charges.