Threat assessment is a key component of defending oneself with a firearm.
Based upon the findings of a jury, 55-year-old Theodore Wafer failed to properly assess the threat prior to pulling the trigger and ending the life of 19-year-old Renisha McBride last November.
On Thursday, 12 of his peers found Wafer guilty of second-degree murder when he used a 12-gauge shotgun to fatally wound McBride, who had stumbled onto his porch, banged on the door of his Detroit-area residence after a night of drinking.
Wafer, an airport maintenance employee, now faces up to life in prison for the shooting death of McBride. He will be sentenced later this month.
During the trial, the prosecutor successfully refuted Wafer’s claim of self-defense.
“She was a young girl looking for help,” prosecutor Patrick Muscat told the jury. “What he did had to be immediately necessary and it wasn’t. It was reckless. It was negligent. I don’t know how to describe it. It was horrific.”
The young woman’s parents celebrated the verdict while lamenting the loss of their daughter.
“He’s where he needs to be,” Monica McBride, the victim’s mother, told reporters. “He had nine months and we suffered. … If you would have called 911 we would never have been here.”
“He was a cold-blooded killer,” McBride’s father, Walter Simmons, added. “People have a right to bear arms, but you need to do it with reason and responsibility.”