Autopsy: Detroit woman, 19, shot in face on porch

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Siwatu-Salama Ra, 22, of Detroit speaks to the crowd during a rally to protest the shooting death of Renisha McBride at the Dearborn Heights Justice Center on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Kimberly P. Mitchell)  

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — An autopsy on a 19-year-old woman killed on a suburban Detroit porch where she’d reportedly gone to seek help after a car crash confirms that she died of a gunshot wound to her face.

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Renisha McBride, of Detroit, who was Black, was fatally shot Nov. 2 in predominantly White Dearborn Heights. Civil rights groups have called for a vigorous prosecution in the case, saying McBride was targeted because of her race.

Prosecutors say they’re reviewing whether to charge the 54-year-old homeowner. Wayne County prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Maria Miller said Monday a warrant review process is underway as they await information from Dearborn Heights police.

Police did not return messages seeking comment Monday.

Investigators have said the homeowner told them he thought someone was trying to break into his home and that he accidentally discharged his shotgun.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office report released Monday ruled McBride’s death was a homicide. There’s no evidence she was shot at close range, according to the report.

The homeowner’s attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, told The Detroit News that the man was awakened in the early hours by what sounded like “a person or persons” trying to get into his home. Carpenter said the shooting was justified but did not comment on reports that it was accidental.

She said she and her client “recognize it’s a tragedy and a 19-year-old woman died.”

“Let’s wait and not prejudice,” Carpenter said. “Nobody including the police, the prosecutor or the public has all the information yet.”

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