Theodore Wafer’s Weapon of Fatal Porch Shooting, “My Gun…My Weapon…It Discharged…”

Theodore Wafer

Wafer testified, “I knew I had to get my gun…”

At the 08/04/14 Pre-Trial hearing, Theodore Wafer testified on his own defense.  Wafer is the Dearborn Heights, Mich., man charged with manslaughter and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

 

Accurate Body Language Statement Analysis Comment:
It is common for defendants to use the possessive, “…my gun” as they describe the events before the fatal shooting.

Wafer testified, “I knew I had to get my gun…”

Prior to the opening his door or firing, Wafer claims possession of his gun by using the pronoun ‘my.’

 

His earlier term ‘my gun’ switches to ‘my weapon’ in the following passage, right before the moment he opened the front door:

Wafer, “I’m going to find out what is going on. I open the security door and I had my hands on my weapon and, you know, I think I even said something, I’m not sure what I said, you know, because I’m, I’m piss and vinegar now…”

 

Then, ‘my weapon’ changed to distancing language of “it discharged” and “that weapon” as Wafer described what happened at the moment he fired his shot gun:

Wafer told investigators, “And it discharged.. the person was standing right there…When I opened the door that fast, that weapon discharged and that was it,”

By using “it discharged,” Wafer distanced himself from possessing or firing his gun.  An inanimate object (i.e., the gun) does not ‘discharge’ or fire randomly on its own.

Wafer discontinued the earlier possessive pronoun ‘my’ gun after he fired the fatal shot that killed Renisha McBride.
In Statement Analysis, every word has meaning.  Therefore, pay attention to any changes in possessive pronouns of the gun or weapon…, especially when these shifts in possessive pronouns occur during the re-telling of the events.

 

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Resource:

  • McClish, M. (2001).  I know you are lying: Detecting deception through statement analysis.  Winterville, NC: PoliceEmployment.com.

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