Authorities in a Michigan town have charged two people after a white woman pulled a gun on a Black woman and her three daughters during a shouting match outside a restaurant. The viral video of the encounter led to felonious assault charges against the woman and her husband and the man’s swift firing from his university job by the next day.
The incident occurred on July 1 in the parking lot of a Chipotle restaurant in Orion Township, Michigan. Makayla Green, 15, said she was about to walk into the restaurant when a white woman bumped into her.
“Before I could walk into Chipotle, this woman was coming out, and I had moved out the way so she can walk out,” the teen told The Detroit News. “She bumped me, and I said, ‘Excuse you.’ And then she started cussing me out and saying things like I was invading her personal space.”
Green’s mother, Takelia Hill, told reporters her daughter called her over while the woman, who would later be identified as 32-year-old Jillian Wuestenberg, was ranting.
“I walked up on the woman yelling at my daughter,” Hill recalled. “She couldn’t see me because her back was to me, but she was in my daughter’s face.”
A video shot by Green shows Wuestenberg arguing with her and her mother about the initial encounter. The duo went back and forth with Wuestenberg until her husband, 42-year-old Eric Wuestenberg, appears and intervenes on his wife’s behalf. Hill and Green continued to shout at the woman as the man ushered the woman into their minivan that was parked facing the restaurant.
As the man walked toward the driver’s side of the vehicle, Green called them “very racist and ignorant,” which prompted Jillian Wuestenberg to engage again with the mother and daughter.
“You cannot just walk around calling white people racist,” she shouted from the front passenger seat of the van. The comment causes a brief argument between Hill and the wife before the husband attempted to back out of the parking space. Green was walking away until she noticed the minivan almost hit Hill, who by then had managed to wind up somewhat to the rear of the minivan as it was backing out, and the daughter warned her mother to watch out.
Hill banged on the back windshield once before the van stopped moving. The husband and wife both get out the minivan and tell the mother-daughter duo to get away from the vehicle. Green’s camera pans to Jillian Wuestenberg, who was yelling “Get the f–k back!” as she held a automatic handgun and at one point appeared to chamber a round in it as she pointed it at Hill. The woman kept the gun aimed at Hill, who also had two other daughters with her at the restaurant, for almost a minute before she got back in the minivan and Eric Wuestenberg appears to drive off as the video ends.
The Detroit News reports that the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office held a news conference Thursday in which it played six 911 calls that came in as the encounter unfolded, including one from Jillian Wuestenberg, who told dispatchers that two Black females were damaging her car. An Oakland County Sheriff’s Office spokesman told reporters that when deputies arrived at the scene of the altercation they found the Wuestenbergs still there and placed the wife in handcuffs and confiscated her gun.
By the afternoon of the next day, Oakland County prosecutors had charged the Wustenbergs with one count each of felonious assault, which can carry a sentence of four years in prison in Michigan. Eric Wuestenberg was fired Thursday from his job as a coordinator for veterans support services at Oakland University.
“We have seen the video, and we deem his behavior unacceptable,” the university said in a statement. “The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.”