Piecing together the mystery of Renisha McBride’s final hours

MapThis much police know for sure: 19-year-old Renisha McBride crashed into a parked car in Detroit shortly before 1 a.m. on Nov. 2 and walked off. Neighbors called 911 several times but McBride was nowhere to be found when police showed up.

And then, 2 hours and 45 minutes after she crashed her 2004 Ford Taurus at Bramell and Majestic, McBride was shot in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun on the front porch of a Dearborn Heights house six blocks from the accident, which was at the border of Detroit. The 54-year-old homeowner told police he “accidentally” pulled the trigger because he thought McBride, who is 5 foot 4, was trying to break in.

An autopsy report released Monday showed that McBride was not shot at close range, which makes a case for self-defense much more difficult.
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Renisha McBride1What remains unclear is what happened to McBride between the time she got into a car crash and was killed. According to the autopsy report, McBride was wearing a blue jacket, blue shirt, black pants and white socks. Her clothes were wet, and it was sprinkling that night.

Her family’s attorney, Gerald Thurswell, said neighbors saw McBride bleeding in the face and confused, saying she wanted to go home, which was about a mile from the crash.

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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