|Theodore Wafer and Renisha McBride|
On November 2, 2013, Renisha McBride, 19, was shot and killed by Theodore Wafer, a 52 year old Airport Mechanic from Dearborn Heights, Michigan who cares for his 81 year old mother. Details of the shooting are still fuzzy, most of the information we've gotten has come from the family and blatantly biased news reporting. Theodore Wafer was not charged until 13 days after he shot Renisha on or near his front porch. Kym Worthy announced charges on Friday - Wafer has been charged with Murder II, Manslaughter and possession of a weapon while in the commission of a felony. It is to be noted that Mr. Wafer's shotgun is registered to him.
First written press release from Dearborn Heights PD came on November 4:
Press Release from DHPD: “In the early morning hours of November 2, 2013 the Dearborn Heights police were called to a shooting in the 16000 block of Outer Drive. A Nineteen year old Detroit woman was fatally shot while standing on the front porch of the home. The case is currently under investigation. The Dearborn Heights Police have identified the person who fired the shot and killed the woman. This incident occurred on the front porch of the home. The decedent was not ‘dumped’ as some have reported. A final report will be forwarded to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office for review in the near future.” End of Press Release
“She wasn’t shot leaving the porch in the back of the head,” he said in published reports. “She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth.” [LINK]
The reporting has probably been the worst I've seen in many years. At least with the Trayvon Martin tragedy the reporters tried to act as if they held no bias..not so much here. The worst offender - Andrea Isom. She reads one sentence from the press release and then proceeds to go with what Bernita Spinks tells her happened. Bernita is the Aunt of Renisha McBride. Much of what she says is incorrect. The wreck is not mentioned at all. Of course we now know (or should), that Renisha was not shot in the back of the head or walking away:
911 dispatch recording from 11/02/2013 in re: shooting of Renisha McBride
12:57 a.m. -- First 911 call. The call said a female driver was speeding and crashed into a parked vehicle and left the scene.1:23 a.m. -- Second 911 call. A different caller said the woman was back and appeared to be drunk.1:37 a.m. -- A police cruiser was dispatched to the scene.1:40 a.m. -- Cruiser arrives at the scene, but the driver was not there.1:52 a.m. -- An EMS unit arrives at the scene, but saw no injured person.2:52 a.m. -- Police cleared the scene, processed the vehicle and impounded it.
Autopsy Report (.pdf) Includes diagram of wound. Contrary to what the family attorney would have everyone believe, her head was not "blown off".
A toxicology report released by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday showed McBride was highly intoxicated when she was shot. Her blood alcohol level was 0.218%, and marijuana was detected in her system, according to the report.
So, based on what we know and some of what the family has said, Renisha left her mother's home in Southfield, Michigan at approximately 11:00 PM on November 1, 2013. At approximately 1:00 am, Renisha is seen speeding recklessly down Bramell Street, (approximately 8 miles from her mother's home), in Detroit and they make the first 911 call relating to this case. The caller tells dispatch that a woman has crashed into a parked car on Bramell but has left the scene. The police make the call low priority - no mention of injuries at this point.
At 1:23 am, a different caller tells dispatch the woman who had wrecked her car was back and appeared to be drunk. I am assuming this is when the caller told dispatch that the woman was injured in some way because an ambulance was dispatched at the same time. A witness at the scene, Ledell Hammond, gave an interview to one of the news outlets and told the reporter he let Renisha know an ambulance and police had been called but she left anyway.
Ledell Hammond: ‘The people on the other side of the street were trying to get her to stay, but she just kept really quiet. She walked right past me and I noticed a bit of blood and that her boots were all torn up. She was wearing some kind of jacket and she had her hood pulled up over her head.
It is at this point we have to question why, if Renisha was looking for help, she didn't wait with the people at the scene for police to arrive...and one has to wonder where she was for the almost four hours between crashing her car and banging on the door of a perfect stranger almost one mile from where she crashed her car.
At 4.46 a.m., Theodore Wafer calls 911 to report he had just shot someone.
‘Just received a 911 call from a male (who) thinks he just shot someone on his porch. Then he hung up; we’re trying to call back.’About a minute later, the dispatcher radioed: ‘Units responding: We have the male on the line. (He) states he doesn’t know this person. Trying to get further (information).’A responding officer told the dispatcher: ‘There’s somebody down on the porch ... it appears it’s going to be a black female.’
Actual 911 call from Theodore Wafer - obviously distraught, he tells the dispatcher that he's just shot someone who was banging at his door, gives his address, says "thank you" and hangs up. Mr. Wafer was reached again after he hung up and, for whatever reason, the subsequent audio has not been released.
First reports by media and Mr. Wafer's attorney were that he thought he heard a person or persons breaking into his house while he slept. He said he accidentally shot the person he thought to be breaking in. The attorney for the family told reporters during a press conference he realizes Renisha may have been loud and banging, and further that he realized she was drunk. According to the prosecutor, Kym Worthy, Mr. Wafer shot Renisha through the "screen" door. I still think they mean the glass storm door. My family calls the storm door a screen door (didn't know this until now), so, not sure which it is or if it makes any difference.
Myself and friends on Twitter were discussing this case and several of us wondered if Renisha, after wandering around, or whatever she was doing for close to four hours, may have mistaken Mr. Wafer's house for her own. They look very similar. Still troubling, Renisha would have found his house only after passing at least 20 other houses in her journey to Wafer's.
|Renisha McBride's house left - Mr. Wafer's house on right|
Also, an interesting note (to me), first reports were that the wreck happened at Bramell and West Warren in Detroit. All subsequent reports were that the crash happened at Bramell and Magestic. I obsess on details, so I tried to find pictures of the wreck...I got lucky when one of the online reports showed a picture of the actual tree Renisha hit along with the parked car. If accurate, the wreck happened, as was initially reported, at the corner of Bramell and West Warren.
Not a small discrepancy, in my opinion. I have believed from the outset of this case that Renisha knew someone in the area - some reports say when she left the scene she went to someone's house and came back 20 minutes later. If she did go to someone's house, who are they and why aren't they talking? I believe Theodore Wafer needs his day in court...otherwise speculation will always be there and that's not fair to anyone. I also feel Renisha is partly responsible for her fate that night. Drinking while as intoxicated as she was could have killed someone else and her judgment was very, obviously, questionable. Just my opinion.
During his bond hearing it was revealed that Mr. Wafer had been before the court 20 years prior for 2 drunk driving cases - it is not clear whether or not both were convictions or their disposition. Bond was set at $250,000. Wafer is being represented by Cheryl and Mac Carpenter, attorneys from Broomfield.
The Twitter blogs and Hype on this case - the first blog (link on first twitter post), was by far the most disturbing for me...this woman's hate is palpable and has little to nothing to do with this case.
Unlike #RenishaMcBride, A White Woman Came To My Door (Not Even For Help) And Lived Another Day http://t.co/eTiD2m8SQS
— Gradient Lair (@GradientLair) November 7, 2013
#RenishaMcBride ----> Black Woman Killed After Asking For Help In White Neighborhood http://t.co/TpZuVyzdgX
— T. Brown (@TheBlackVoice) November 7, 2013