Three white people allegedly threatened to kill a black family — including two children — during a violent home invasion in Michigan, prosecutors said.
The suspects — identified as Branden Odegaard, Michael Graves and Maci Pietryga – were arrested after cops responded to a 911 call on April 26 in Walled Lake, where witnesses said the trio “threatened to kill the occupants” and used a racial slur, the Detroit News reported.
A mother and her two children, ages 9 and 13, were at home during the incident, WDIV reported.
The 13-year-old was awakened by a commotion outside and roused his 9-year-old brother. Their mother then grabbed a gun and fired shots through a bedroom window before calling her husband, who was working at the time in Detroit, the station reported.
“I can hear everything, them kicking and banging down the door, whatever they were doing,” the husband recalled, saying the three suspects had dogs with them, as well as a knife and a club.
“I heard the first shot and that’s when she, they were in the house,” he said. “I can hear the guy saying, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ The n-word and all that.”
The man said he left his job and drove home to find three white suspects in custody. The suspects were reportedly arrested nearby after the family called 911.
“It was a hate crime,” he continued. “They knew that we were a black family. I’m always on my motorcycle.”
The man said his wife “did what she had to do” to protect their family.
“When you have kids, you do what you gotta do,” he said.
All three suspects were charged with ethnic intimidation, while Odegaard, 37, and Graves, 47, were also charged with first-degree home invasion.
The female suspect, Pietryga, 26, is facing a count of first-degree aiding and abetting home invasion.
All three are from Wolverine Lake, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
“I want to be clear that I have zero tolerance for hate crimes,” McDonald said Thursday. “Hate has no place here in Oakland County, and I will do everything in my power to hold those who attempt to threaten or harm our residents accountable.”
Odegaard, Graves and Pietryga remained in custody at the Oakland County Jail on Tuesday, records show. It’s unclear if they’ve hired attorneys who could speak on their behalf.