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Man Who Shot Renisha McBride Testifies He Refused to 'Cower' in His Home

The man charged with second-degree murder for shooting an unarmed woman on his porch says he felt threatened the night she pounded on his doors.
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The Detroit man who is charged with second-degree murder for shooting a 19-year-old woman on his front porch last year testified in his own defense Monday, saying he didn't know who was violently banging on his door that night and he got out his gun because he refused to "cower" in his own house. “It was them or me at that moment,” Theodore Wafer, 54, said of what he was thinking when he shot Renisha McBride on November 2, 2013. Wafer said he had no idea that night who — or how many people — was banging on his front and side doors so hard that he could feel the floor vibrating. McBride's family claims she was in pursuit of assistance after she crashed her car.

Wafer rubbed his brow periodically and spoke softly through most of his testimony. When asked by defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter if he ever thinks of McBride and her family, he said "everyday." "It’s devastating — this poor girl, she had her whole life in front of her,” Wafer said through tears. “I took that from her.”

During the first minute of cross examination, prosecutor Athena Siringas questioned if Wafer became equally emotional when questioned by police shortly after the deadly incident. He said he hadn't, and then Siringas showed the interview at the police station, in which Wafer remained mostly calm. Before Wafer was questioned, a firearms expert testified for the defense that McBride and Wafer were standing within a foot of the front door when Wafer fired the fatal shot through the screen. Wafer's cross examination will resume on Tuesday morning.



— Elisha Fieldstadt