What’s next in the racially charged Renisha McBride shooting case?

Protesters this month held signs during a rally in Dearborn Heights, Mich., to protest the shooting death of Renisha McBride.
Protesters this month held signs during a rally in Dearborn Heights, Mich., to protest the shooting death of Renisha McBride.
(Kimberly P. Mitchell / AP)
Share via

Michigan prosecutors in the Renisha McBride shooting case, which is becoming the latest example of questions about race and guns, are reviewing whether to charge a white man who fatally shot McBride, a black woman who was reportedly seeking help after a car accident.

McBride, 19, was shot to death on Nov. 2 by a homeowner in Dearborn Heights. According to an autopsy released on Monday, McBride was shot in the face.

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that the prosecutor’s office is awaiting material from the Dearborn Heights Police Department before deciding whether to bring a charge.


“The Wayne County prosecutor’s office is waiting for several items relating to the investigation from the Dearborn Heights Police Department at this time. We have begun the warrant review process. News will be released when a charging decision has been made,” Miller said.

There is no information when that decision will be made, she said.

Civil rights leaders have called for an investigation of the shooting, arguing it is another case of an black person shot by a white person and have compared it to the Florida case involving Trayvon Martin. A jury acquitted George Zimmerman of murder charges in the shooting of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, during a confrontation in Sanford, Fla., in 2012.

The autopsy report released Monday gives new details on the shooting of McBride, but also leaves unanswered some questions. For example, it confirms the woman was shot in the face, supporting the idea that she was facing the homeowner. The autopsy, however, does not specify the distance from which the weapon was fired.

“There was an entrance shotgun wound to the face, with no evidence of close-range discharge of a firearm noted on the skin surrounding this wound,” reads the report by Assistant Medical Examiner Kilak Kesha, who ruled McBride’s death a homicide. A variety of media, including the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, have reported on the autopsy.

According to her family and supporters, McBride was involved in a car accident in the early hours of Nov. 2 and then went looking for help. She eventually went on to a porch in Dearborn Heights where she was shot. Dearborn Heights police have confirmed McBride was shot on the porch but have not given details.

Cheryl Carpenter, a lawyer representing the homeowner, last week said he was awakened about 4 a.m. by what sounded like “a person or persons” trying to enter his home. She said the shooting was justified.


“Let’s wait and not prejudice,” the case, Carpenter said last week. “Nobody, including the police, the prosecutor or the public, has all the information yet.”


‘Whitey’ Bulger defends himself in letter from prison

N.Y. World Trade Center nation’s tallest skyscraper, panel rules

Study: Local immigration policing efforts caused few exits from U.S.