Theodore Wafer Charged With Second Degree Murder Of Renisha McBride, Dispatch Audio Released

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A newly released audio clip between a Dearborn Heights, Michigan police dispatcher and Dearborn officers shows how the Renisha McBride shooting was reported as it was called in.

On the audio clip (hear below), the dispatcher says the shooter, now identified as 54-year-old Theodore Paul Wafer, called in saying he “thinks he shot someone on his porch.”

At 4:46 a.m., the dispatcher told officers she “Just received a 911 call from a male [who] thinks he just shot someone on his porch. Then he hung up; we’re trying to call back.”

One minute later, dispatcher told officers that units were responding and Wafer had been contacted again. “We have the male on the line. [He] states he doesn’t know this person. Trying to get more information.”

Moments later, an officer on the scene called in saying “There’s somebody down on the porch… It appears it’s going to be a black female.”

On Friday, November 15th, Wafer was taken into custody and charged with the second degree murder of Renisha McBride. He was also charged with manslaughter and an unspecified weapons violation relating to the use of his 12-gauge shotgun. He pleaded not-guilty to all charges.

His charges came after an extensive two week investigation in which the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office decided whether Michigan’s version of the Stand Your Ground law cleared him of any wrongdoing in the shooting. Ultimately, investigators found McBride posed no imminent life threatening danger to Wafer.

Wayne County prosecutor Kim Worthy spoke on her office’s decision at Wafer’s hearing.

“Race is not relevant,” said Worthy, who is black herself. Worthy says the case is based “on the facts and the evidence,” and was not influenced by public pressure.

“There is no duty to retreat in your own home,” she said. But, Worthy added, according to state code, the use of deadly force is only justified if “the individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.”

The investigation cast serious doubt on whether McBride posed any serious imminent threat to Wafer at the time of the shooting. This doubt was corroborated by McBride’s autopsy report, which revealed that she was not shot at close range.

If convicted, Wafer’s charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. Wafer’s lawyer, Mack Carpenter, says he plans to offer a strong defense that will acquit his client. 

Here is the dispatch audio:

Sources: Time, Detroit News, NY Times