Police Scanner Audio Fills in Timeline for Renisha McBride Shooting

Listen to the dispatcher calls following the Detroit teen's death after she was shot on a front porch while seeking help after a car accident

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Porch Shooting
AP

The front cover of a funeral service program for 19-year-old Renisha McBride at House of Prayer & Praise Cathedral in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. McBride was shot and killed by a Dearborn Heights home owner in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 2 after she approached his house.

The Detroit News obtained the audio on Tuesday of a police dispatcher sending officers to the scene of the Renisha McBride shooting that took place in the wee hours of Nov. 2. In the recording, the dispatcher reports that a man called 911 to report that he had just shot a person he didn’t know on his porch.

“Just received a 911 call from a male [who] thinks he just shot someone on his porch. Then he hung up; we’re trying to call back,” the dispatcher tells officers around 4:46 am.

About a minute later, the dispatcher says, “Units responding: We have the male on the line. [He] states he doesn’t know this person. Trying to get further [information].”

A responding officer then tells the dispatcher, “There’s somebody down on the porch … it appears it’s going to be a black female.”

The white homeowner (whose name has not been publicly disclosed) has said through his lawyer that he thought McBride, an African-American woman, was trying to break into his home and that he shot her by accident. McBride had gotten into a car accident earlier in the night, and since her cell phone had died, her family believes that she knocked on the man’s door for help. McBride’s autopsy confirmed that the 19-year-old was shot in the face. The man who shot her has not been charged with a crime and is not in police custody.

The incident has spurred a national outcry over Michigan’s version of the “stand your ground” law and race relations in Detroit, nearby Dearborn Heights — where the shooting took place — and across the nation. Civil rights groups protested in Detroit this weekend.

The protests are stoked by several other racially-charged shooting incidents in the past few years. This summer, George Zimmerman was acquitted of fatally shooting a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, during an altercation in Florida. Martin had been walking home after buying Skittles and a Snapple while wearing a sweatshirt with his hood up.

In September, a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina was charged with voluntary manslaughter after killing Jonathan Ferrell, 24. Ferrell was a former college football player who, like McBride, was looking for help after a car accident. Both Zimmerman’s acquittal and Ferrell’s killing were the catalysts of protests before this most recent incident.

Detroit community activist, Rev. Charles Williams II — a pastor of King Solomon and president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network  — said at a community rally he organized on Nov. 9 with 200 attendees, “We cannot allow the moment of Travyon Martin to come and go. We cannot allow the moment of Renisha McBride to come and go,” the Detroit News reports.

The investigation into McBride’s death is ongoing. A spokeswoman for the Wayne County prosecutor’s office told the New York Times on Sunday that police will present evidence to prosecutors this week so that “we can make a decision on whether to issue charges.” The NAACP, among other civil rights groups, has called for a thorough investigation.

Listen to audio from police scanners the night McBride died below:

[Detroit News]

24 comments
missmensa
missmensa

She was drunk, high, crashing her car, refusing help, and leaving the scene of an accident, twice, in the middle of the night. This guy is sound asleep in his own home, and it sounds like he woke up to the sounds of someone breaking into his home. This case sounds like nothing to do with race or gender and everything to do with people who are legally armed and prepared to protect themselves. His initial statement was that the firearm discharged accidentally. That statement I believe. He was just waking up and grabbed his firearm before going to the door, right? But now the news reports are saying he shot in self defense? Really? Through the door? Was she threatening him? Was she attempting to break through the door? Was there any damage to the door? Did she tell him she had a weapon or did she threaten him in any way? There are so many unanswered questions. Until the news reports can provide the answers to these questions, please stop trying to blame everything on race. There's nothing more racist than playing the race card. Examine the facts, look for the truth, but stop blaming everything on race. Zimmerman shot in self defense as he was getting his head slammed against the pavement. It didn't matter if his attacker was purple or green. This guy shot a person who he evidently thought was trying to break into his home. It doesn't sound like it mattered to him if the person was purple or green either.  The answers we need are whether or not the firearm had a history of malfunction, whether or not the firearm is easily discharged, whether or not this guy has a history of violence against women, whether or not this guy has experience operating a firearm, etc. Clouding the fact finding efforts with baseless race baiting seems to be disrespectful to the young woman who was killed. If it's true she was simply knocking on the door for help, and this guy brazenly picked up his firearm and killed her, then yes, he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. Her race doesn't matter, his race doesn't matter. What matters is an innocent person was killed for simply knocking on his door. However, if it's true she was pounding on his door, swearing, threatening, etc. then maybe his firearm did go off accidentally, or maybe he did shoot in self-defense. If so, her race and gender do not matter, and neither do his.

FShannon
FShannon

@DavarieusFox Yes, I understand emergency workers did not come quickly, but that’s precisely because she fled the scene. 

I tend to believe she was drunk rather than in a state of shock considering she crashed into a parked vehicle.

Even if witnesses are not on record for saying they offered McBride help, I very much doubt they just milled around and didn’t bother to ask if she needed assistance.

Yes, there have been several reports that she returned to the accident only to leave again. "A second call came in that the woman had returned, but by the time police arrived, she was gone.” —Detroit Free Press

There have also been reports (I’ll try to find them for you) that she lived on the same street, or that her home looked similar to the home she may have tried to enter. 

Unconfirmed reports have said she was shot through the door. How could the homeowner possibly know she was black or a woman for that matter?

Was the homeowner’s behavior criminal? Yes! You can’t shoot someone that comes to your door even if you think they’re trying to get in. They guy should spend time in jail. 

Was it a hate crime? I don’t think we know all the facts to make that decision.

MarshallBrooks
MarshallBrooks

I wonder if this was a 19 year old white female in the same situation would he have shot her or even answered the door with a shotgun.  If this was an accident then we need better gun control laws, and this guy does not need a gun.

YeaRight
YeaRight

Um. What exactly should she have done differently? She got in an accident, her phone was not working. There is a history of white Americans getting off for indiscriminately killing black Americans. People are TIRED of it. Lay the blame where it is - Ted Wafer. 

I've had someone knock on my door at 3am. I looked outside no one. I go back to sleep, I hear the knock again.  You know what I did. I asked them to say who they were. No reply. I open the door. I see no one. I get my shotgun. Did I go outside looking for someone to shoot in the face?Nope. In genuine concern this was a trick to get me to open my door - I kept my shotgun ready, but did not even think of opening my security door. What I did do, was call the police like a LOGICAL human being and inform them I believe someone is knocking on my door at 3am. I inform them while I have a licensed firearm I will not leave my house until they come, and when they come I will be leaving the firearm INSIDE. Want to know the person that managed to not get shot in the face that night? 

An 80-year old woman, who had dimentia and had a habit of wandering the streets in repeated bouts of disorientation. By the time she knocked on my door, she wandered off up and down the street and came back to knock again. Now I suppose if I was white I'd have had license to shoot her dead since she was an old black lady, but I think you get my point.

The man needs to be arrested, charged and held accountable. Point blank. What man is afraid of a 19-year old girl? What man if so afraid proceeds to get his firearm and NOT call the police? What man if SO AFRAID - OPENS THE DOOR to the person he is afraid of? It doesn't make sense. And I'm not saying it from hyperbole - I'm saying it as someone who in a similar situation acted in an ENTIRELY different line of rationale even when in fear for my personal safety. But for those that want to believe it was a mistake things went like so: On the way to the door, Ted Wafer tripped over his gun, kicked it up into his hands. While that happened he happened to kick up some shotgun shells that perfectly loaded THEMSELVES into the chamber. Then as he's juggling bullets and the gun, he opens the door, and sees a black person...somehow the shotgun COCKED ITSELF and then Ted, under no ability to control the gun since it CLEARLY HAD A MIND OF ITS OWN AT THIS POINT...pulls the trigger and shoots Renisha McBride perfectly in the face.  

Stop the bull. If you are an apologist for this scum, then just go ahead and finish cutting the eyeholes out of your pillowcase and admit your true colors...

dbrunover1
dbrunover1

People live in fear because of crime, and people get all pissy when someone gets blow away. Yes its a tragedy for her and her family and yes he should have done things differently, and yes she should have done things differently. Did her being black add to that fear, only he knows, but if he had seen a Older Asian male of his porch, would his first though been, I didn't order Chinese food ..  

DavarieusFox
DavarieusFox

The facts FShannon mentions are half truths. There were no emergency help available at the time. 

12:57 a.m. Detroit police receive an initial phone call that there was an auto accident with no injuries and the driver fled the scene. Because of those factors, the accident was determined to be a low priority call. According to the Detroit Free Press, a woman was speeding, hit a parked car, and then left on foot.

1:23 a.m. Another person calls 911 about the accident. The individual said the driver of the vehicle seemed to be intoxicated, though the dispatcher realized that an injury may have caused the apparent intoxication. The dispatcher ordered EMS units, but no units were available at that time.

1:37 a.m. A unit became available and was dispatched. It arrived three minutes later, and no one was at the scene.

1:52 a.m. An ambulance arrived.

2:50 a.m. Officers left the scene, after spending over an hour clearing the accident scene and investigating. No one returned to the scene within that time…

She never refused help, she just stated "I wanted to go home"… She was bleeding from the head so she suffered some kind of head trauma and was disoriented. Says the person who helped… Thurswell. She believes she wondered around for about an hour until fatally being shot. The homeowner said the shooting was an accident because the shotgun "just went off." The prosecutor stated that the shooting was "justifiable." In which the two statements don't match. though this may not be racism something is missing and at the moment it's looking as if it was racial. A black 19 year old, female, bleeding from the head is a threat and then she gets shot in the face… The tell of the story is she wasn't a threat to the first person whom tried to help her whom realized that she wasn't in good shape. Why wasn't it apparent to the shooter.

FShannon
FShannon

The article should mention she walked six blocks from the accident scene and waited nearly two hours before she showed up on the homeowner’s front porch. During that time she returned to the scene but left shortly before emergency workers arrived. She also declined help from neighbors at the scene. Her behavior was erratic and I wonder if she attempted to enter this man’s home (he’s stated she didn’t simply knock) because she mistook his home for her own—she lived on the same street about a mile away.

wigglwagon
wigglwagon

What was she doing out riding around a big city by herself in the middle of the night?  Whatever happened to parental supervision?  I cannot imagine allowing a 19 year old to go anywhere today without a functioning cell phone and a number to call in an emergency.

alanpage7
alanpage7

@FShannon The prosecutor said today that Ted Wafer shot Renisha McBridge through a locked screen door. Screen doors can be seen through, generally speaking (I've never seen a screen door you can't see through). As such, Wafer could clearly see both the race and gender of McBride before he shot and killed her. @DavarieusFox As a side note, I am confused as to why Time did not print Wafer's name (which IS publicly available, from a variety of news sources in Detroit in addition to being mentioned on public radio) or Randall Kerrick, the name of Ferrell's shooter in North Carolina. Protecting the anonymity of adult criminal defendants is not part of the job of the media.

dawnsrainbow
dawnsrainbow

@dbrunover1 People live in fear because they want to and the media takes advantage. If you're that afraid then what's the point of living? That man's irrational fear is his problem not Renisha's, so she shouldn't have to pay the price for his trigger happy paranoia. This man needs to get convicted of negligent homicide. Her life matters too not just his and his fear.

JoeSlevin
JoeSlevin

@DavarieusFox 

There is also the possibility that because of her head trauma and disorientation that she was trying to break into the house because she was confused. 

RobertRiversong
RobertRiversong

@DavarieusFox Seeing a driver bleeding from the face at a car accident scene tells one story. Seeing a bleeding woman at your front door in the middle of the night tells a different story. Why can't you understand that?

dawnsrainbow
dawnsrainbow

@FShannon She did not refuse help. So the haters are on the smear offense again, blame the victim to exonerate the murderer? You people are something else. So, as far as you people are concerned has there ever been a black person that did not deserve to be shot or was not guilty of a crime, even by virtue of being black. You people are an embarrassment.

vewashin
vewashin

Where did you get that she lived on the same street? I have never read that and when her attourney spoke this morning she had been knocking on several doors seeking help. She banged on his door screaming. He never called the cops and where hes from the cops come right away. They came two minutes after he had called about shooting her.

dawnsrainbow
dawnsrainbow

@wigglwagon Right, how dare she be black and driving around at night like she's white and a free human being? The gall? She was asking for it, right?

vewashin
vewashin

At 19 I had my own apartment..................

NathanBedfordForrest
NathanBedfordForrest


 @wigglwagon you do know that at 19 they are considered adults, so "parental supervision" is not the problem...it's  trigger happy people.

Calamari_89
Calamari_89

Here we go, blaming the victim. . . typical.

dawnsrainbow
dawnsrainbow

@JoeSlevin @DavarieusFox That's pure speculation and conjecture. The police say she knocked only. But even so, for argument's sake let's say you're right, more reason to prove killing her wasn't justify. There was a wood door between them and a shot gun. He was perfectly safe. It was overkill, that man needs to pay for murdering a young life. There's a difference between trying to break in and actually breaking in. He needed to tell the person he called the police and they were on their way and would shoot to kill. They would have been forewarned.

UncivilizedSociety
UncivilizedSociety

@RobertRiversong @DavarieusFox 

How in god's green earth is a 5'4 185 female that is BLEEDING a threat? Man I swear you white folks need to be removed off the earth....You are either naturally retarded and violent or ignorantly so........

vewashin
vewashin

But why would you shoot her instead of helping the bleeding woman?