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White man gets 4-10 years in prison for shooting at lost black boy who knocked on his door

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Posted at 7:11 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 14:17:30-05

ROCHESTER HILLS, MI (WDIV/CNN) - A Michigan man found guilty of shooting at a black teenager for knocking on his door found out on Tuesday he’ll spend four to 10 years in prison.

In April, 16-year-old Brennan Walker missed his school bus and got lost walking to school, so he knocked on the home of Jeff Zeigler, asking for directions.

Instead, he was shot at.

His mother, Lisa Wright, said she had tried to prepare her son for all the world’s dangers, but could never have prepared him for this.

"We have a plan for everything else, you know, literally. If there's a fire, if someone breaks in, you know, if we're in an accident - we have a plan for everything,” she said. “But we never set a plan for, you know, if somebody tries to kill you, this is what you do."

Wright was satisfied but not happy with how long Zeigler will be in prison.

Zeigler was found guilty in October of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. He got at least four years, and Wright wanted longer, saying her son could have been killed.

She also said she believed Zeigler, who is white, assumed her son was dangerous because he was black.

"I tried to keep race out of it, but we all know that's pretty much what it was,” she said. “It's not fair for people to dislike us about something we can't control. If there was a button I could press for me to pick what color I could be, just so I wouldn't have to deal with this type of stuff, I would have to be your color so I could survive."

During the trial, Zeigler said he tripped and the shotgun he was carrying accidentally went off.

His home security camera captured the entire thing, and the jury did not believe the story, finding him guilty.

"I'd like to apologize for my actions. I'm full of remorse and regret,” he said.

Now Walker’s family can't find a sense of security, especially his father, who was serving overseas in Syria when this happened.

"How can I be over there, you know, serving this country, protecting this country and my family here is not protected by anyone at all,” he said.

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