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The walking-while-Black struggle is very real.

A 14-year-old African-American teen was shot at Thursday after he missed the bus and went looking for help in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Fox 2 Detroit reported. Things went horribly left for Brennan Walker, who didn’t have a cell phone to call home after his ride pulled off.

The teen innocently knocked on a stranger’s door to get directions, and he was met by a female occupant of the home who began shooting at him. Why? She thought that he was going to rob her house.

“I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’”, Walker said to Fox 2 Detroit. “I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot.”

Walker took off running and was thankfully not hit by the gunfire. However, the teen was shaken by the experience, which is all too common for many Black boys and men who are targeted because of their race.

“My mom says that black boys get shot because sometimes they don’t look their age, and I don’t look my age,” Walker said. “I’m 14; but I don’t look 14. I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic.”

Racism played a role in the scary encounter, with a home security video having shown the woman making racially charged comments.

“One of the things that stands out, that probably angers me the most is, while I was watching the tape, you can hear the wife say, ‘Why did “these people” choose my house?’” Lisa Wright, the teen’s mother, said. “Who are, “these people?” And that set me off. I didn’t want to believe it was what it appeared to look like. When I heard her say that, it was like, but it is [what it looks like].”

Oakland County Sheriff Deputies went to the home and took the woman’s husband into custody. They haven’t released the video yet, and the man is being held at the Oakland County Jail. He’s expected to be arraigned sometime on Friday, the Fox report said.


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Walking While Black: 14-Year-Old Teen Gets Shot At After Asking For Directions  was originally published on