Renisha McBride's Family Wants Teen's Shooter Behind Bars

Renisha McBride, 19, was shot in the head after car troubles.

November 8, 2013, 4:13 PM

Nov. 8, 2013 — -- The family of a Michigan woman who was shot to death outside a home where her family believes she was seeking help after a car accident is angry that the man who killed Renisha McBride is not behind bars.

"He shouldn't be free. He killed her," Detroit pastor W.J. Rideout told today after her funeral. "He shot her, whether it was accidental or to commit murder or a crime."

McBride's family reached out to Rideout, who is also a civil and human rights activist, to speak on behalf of the family.

Renisha McBride, 19, was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Dearborn Heights, Mich.

McBride's family said they believe she was going door-to-door looking for help after her car broke down and her cellphone was dead. They said they believe she was shot as she was leaving the suspect's porch.

Rideout said her family is grieving.

"Until they hear that this man has been locked up and is being charged with the crime, the family is in pain," he said.

Family Wants Charges After Black Teen Shot Following Car Accident

Police are releasing few details about McBride's death. Dearborn Heights Lt. James Serwatowski said Thursday that she was shot in the head, but said he could not give any more information because of the ongoing investigation.

He said reports that McBride was shot in the back of the head while walking off the porch are "totally inaccurate."

Serwatowski did not respond to requests for comment today but told the Detroit Free Press that the shooter told police he "believed the girl was breaking into the home" and that the "gun discharged accidentally."

"It's very disheartening," pastor Rideout said of comments that the shooting was an accident. "It's very sad to see that and to hear that.

"How do you accidentally shoot someone and pull the trigger and open the door and shoot someone?" he asked.

"If the door had been shut, then if he would have accidentally fired off or discharged the weapon, then the bullet would have hit the door and not Renisha McBride in her face, in her head," he said.

The lieutenant said a male suspect has been interviewed, but no arrest has been made and information about the suspect or what he said cannot be made public until the prosecutor reviews possible charges.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office refused to issue a warrant earlier this week.

"We were presented with a warrant request on Tuesday and we have asked the police to do some further investigation on the case and until we receive that work, we won't be able to continue and make a decision," Wayne County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Maria Miller told

Rideout said he and the family are confident that the prosecutor will act and they are more concerned that McBride's killer is free.

"My concern and the family's concern is that this man is out free and he should be behind bars until whatever decision is going to be made," he said.

Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Mary Mazur said McBride suffered a shotgun wound to the head and her death was ruled a homicide.

"This is a senseless murder," pastor Rideout told "We will not tolerate another Trayvon Martin, another Jonathan Ferrell. And here we have Renisha McBride, the third African-American who didn't have a weapon in her hand and didn't do anything to deserve being shot."

In September, former Florida A&M University football player Jonathan Ferrell, 24, was gunned down by a police officer while looking for help at a woman's home after a car crash.

In 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder this summer.

Rideout said McBride's family has been grateful for the outpouring of support.

"We're getting overwhelming support from all over the world. People are hurting from Detroit to New York to Chicago to Alabama to St. Louis," he said.

"People are hurt because this 19-year-old young lady was shot down viciously and defenselessly without a weapon in her hand and without being an alleged criminal. She didn't do anything."

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