After over a week of public outcry from people across the nation, officials have identified the man accused of shooting 19-year-old Renisha McBride on the porch of his suburban Detroit home.
On Friday, Theodore Paul Wafer, 54, was identified as the shooter by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. During the press conference, the prosecutor said Wafer would be charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm during a commission of a felony, reports ABC News. Wafer turned himself into custody on Friday and his bail is set at $250,000.
The shooting incident has captured the attention of Detroit residents and people across the nation after McBride was shot in the face on Wafer’s porch. It is believed she seeking help after a car accident she was in earlier in the night. And her family thinks the shooting was racially motivated and numerous civil rights groups are echoing that claim. Several questions still remain about the incident, though. And below we’ve gathered six facts about Wafer and his role in the controversial shooting.
1. He Works At Wayne County Airport
Wafer works at Wayne County Airport in maintenance and transportation where he has the highest possible security clearance. His attorney Mack Carpenter also revealed that his client takes care of his 81-year-old mother.
2. Initial Reports Said He Claimed The Gun Fired On Accident. But His Lawyer Now Claims Self Defense.
Detroit police first reported that Wafer said the gun fired on accident. But his attorney now suggests that he acted in self-defense, reports Slate.
3. It Isn't Clear Why Wafer Believed His Life Was In Danger
Speaking to Michigan Radio, his attorney Cheryl Carpenter said that the shooting was justified. But he offered no additional details on why his client felt his life was threatened other than he thought it was possibly a break-in.
4. Mack Carpenter Believes His Client Will Successfully Fight The Charges
A toxicology report released on Thursday showed that McBride’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit for driving – at 0.22 – and that she tested positive for marijuana, reports USA Today. Following Wafer’s court appearance on Friday, Carpenter said he feels his client “has a very strong case against the charges” and likely won’t be convicted based largely on “the time” and “Ms. McBride’s condition. But following Friday’s press conference, the prosecutor stated that any alcohol McBride consumed had no relevance in the case.
5. Evidence Suggests He Shot Her Through A Closed And Locked Screen Door.
Officials say that evidence suggests that McBride knocked on Wafer’s locked screen door and that he then fired the weapon after opening his front door while the screen door remain closed and locked.
5. Prosecutors Don’t Believe He Acted In Self Defense.
There was no evidence showing forced entry, said Worthy. And she added that her office “obviously” didn’t feel that Wafer lawfully acted self-defense. She said that in the state of Michigan, anyone who claims lawful self-defense must have "honest and reasonable belief of imminent death or imminent great bodily harm” being directed at themselves or another in danger and that force is necessary to avoid harm.
6. His Ex-Girlfriend Says He’s A “Jerk’ But Not A ‘Racist.’
Speaking to MailOnline, Wafer’s ex-girlfriend – who didn’t want to be identified – claimed he had a bad temper and was a heavy drinker. But she did defend him against allegations that the shooting was racially motivated. “He wasn’t an angel, but I would never have considered him to be a racist. He didn’t ever do anything in front of me that suggested he had those kinds of views,” she said. “I haven’t seen him since [their breakup]. Despite all of that and how much of a jerk he was to me, I was still stunned when I heard he had been caught up in the shooting.”