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Editorial: Lawyer For Renisha McBride’s Murderer Claims Shooting Was “Justified”

The lawyer for a man implicated in the shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride believes evidence will show her client’s actions were “justified.”

McBride died after being shot in the face in the early hours of Saturday on the front porch of a home in Dearborn Heights, Mich., according to police. She had been involved in a car accident over the city line in Detroit, and her family believes her cell phone died and she went to the home seeking help. Police put the timing of the crash at around 1:30 a.m. and the shooting around 3:40 a.m., according to the Detroit Free Press.

Bloomfield Hills attorney Cheryl Carpenter told The Huffington Post that the 54-year-old homeowner, who lives alone, contacted her after the events of that night. The man hasn’t been named by police and no charges have been filed in the case.

“On that night he was woken up. … Everything was dark in the house, and he was awoken by sounds of a person or persons trying to get into his home,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said she would not comment on the alleged shooting or other details of the incident with the investigation underway, including a report that the homeowner told police he had discharged his shotgun accidentally.

“He called 911 right away,” Carpenter said. “On the night of the shooting, he completely cooperated with police on his own. He went in and made a statement to them.”

Speaking with the Detroit News, she said, “I’m confident when the evidence comes, it will show that my client was justified and acted as a reasonable person would who was in fear for his life.”

The case has received national attention, with many wondering how a young woman looking for help could end up dead, and why police have yet to make an arrest.

Though the shooter’s race hasn’t been identified, the fact that Dearborn Heights is a majority-white city has led many to speculate that he is white — and to draw comparisons between McBride and other unarmed African-American shooting victims, such as Jonathan Ferrell and Trayvon Martin.

“I thought that this is not a unique or original story,” said Dream Hampton, a Detroit writer and filmmaker who organized a rally Thursday calling for justice for McBride. “About every six weeks we basically have some racial killing story … to protest and mourn and be outraged about.”

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