‘I just want to go home,’ Renisha McBride said hours before being killed

Renisha McBrideCarmen Beasley heard a loud boom at 1 a.m. and peered out the window.

A young woman holding both sides of her head stumbled away from her car. She had just stuck Beasley’s car at Brammel and Warren in Detroit.

“She looked like she was hurt,” Beasley said today, testifying in the manslaughter hearing of Theodore Wafer, who is accused of shooting the young, unarmed driver in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun a few hours later.

The hearing will continue Thursday at 9 a.m.

Beasley, providing new details in the case, called 911 and said she was worried about the driver.

About five minutes later, the driver, 19-year-old Renisha McBride, returned looking confused and disoriented. She smelled of alcohol, and her hands were bloody.
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“Are you OK?” Beasley remembers asking.

“Yes,” McBride responded, getting into the car and trying to start it.

“Honey,” Beasley interrupted, “you are not going to be able to start your car. Where’s your cell phone?”

McBride patted her pockets but couldn’t find a phone.

“I just want to go home,” McBride repeated several times.

But when asked if she could remember anyone to call, McBride couldn’t.
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Despite her injuries, McBride, who said she had no idea where she was, walked away.

“I was worried about her,” Beasley said. “I did everything but restrain her from leaving. I didn’t want her out there by herself.”
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What happened over the next three hours remains a mystery.

At 4:30 a.m., McBride walked up to a house at 16812 W. Outer Drive in Dearborn Heights – about six blocks from the crash – and knocked on the door. The homeowner, Theodore Wafer, told police he thought McBride was an intruder and accidentally pulled the trigger.

Wafer dialed 911.

“Um, yes, I just shot somebody on my front porch with a shotgun banging on my door,” Wafer told 911 dispatchers.

When police arrived, McBride was on her back on the porch, bleeding from the head.

A pathologist said today that McBride died immediately.
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The preliminary examination in 20th District is used to determine whether enough evidence exists to take the case to a circuit court trial.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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