- (Photo: WJBK Screenshot)
Detroit teen Renisha McBride was shot in the face, not in the back of the head as previously reported, while on the porch of a house in Dearborn Heights, Mich., where she had gone for help after a car accident, say police. The unidentified homeowner who did it says it was an accident.
"This man's claiming – believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he's also saying the gun discharged accidentally," Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective, told The Detroit Free Press.
"This girl was not shot in the back of the head while leaving the porch," Serwatowski said "I don't know where the family is getting this. She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth."
A statement from the teen's family Thursday called for peace as tensions grow over what many in have publicly called a senseless death. It also challenged reports that the homeowner alerted the police after the shooting.
"The alleged assailant did not, according to reports, immediately notify the police that the shooting had taken place. It was reported that instead neighbors contacted police about the shooting. He has not, to date, been arrested," said the statement.
At a nearly three hour funeral service held in memory of the teen at the House of Prayers & Praise Cathedral at 16520 Wyoming, on Detroit's west side on Friday, mourners emphasized the tragedy of her death.
"The message was it's a tragedy that didn't have to happen, and not to let this be swept under the rug," said McBride's maternal great-aunt, Kay Lumpkin, 48, of Dearborn Heights.
McBride, who worked for Ford Motor Company, reportedly loved cars and shopping, according to the funeral program.
McBride's family members have speculated that she may have died as a result of racial profiling, but as the investigation continues, police say there is no indication that race was a factor in the shooting.
"It's very, very, very hard to believe that it was an accident when the gun is in her face and it goes off accidentally," said McBride family attorney Gerald Thurswell.
"Somebody had to have their finger on the trigger. He was in a safe place — he was in his house and he didn't have to open the door. He could've called 911 to protect himself. And if she was seeking help, he could've called 911 to get her help," he said.