Family of Michigan woman sues homeowner in porch shooting case

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 19, 2014 3:20 PM

By Aaron Foley

DETROIT (Reuters) - The family of a 19-year-old black woman shot dead by a white suburban homeowner after she knocked on his door early in the morning last November filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him on Tuesday.

The shooting of Renisha McBride in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, sparked controversy in the Detroit area, which has long been troubled by racial tensions.

A jury on Aug. 7 convicted Theodore Wafer, 55, of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and felonious use of a firearm in McBride's death. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 3 and faces up to life in prison.

The lawsuit filed in Wayne County Circuit Court seeks $10 million in damages, according to paperwork filed in court and the attorney representing the family.

McBride was intoxicated and had been involved in a car crash earlier that night when she knocked on Wafer's door on a rainy November morning. Wafer shot the teenager with a 12-gauge shotgun through a locked screen door.

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During his testimony, Wafer said he intentionally pulled the trigger when he thought a burglary was in progress. He earlier told police the shooting was an accident.

(Reporting by Aaron Foley; Editing by Brendan O'Brien and Eric Beech)