The owner of the Dearborn Heights home, whose name wasn't reported, said his shotgun accidentally discharged when he shot Renisha McBride in the face.
"This man's claiming -- believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he's also saying the gun discharged accidentally," Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective, told the Detroit Free Press.
Serwatowski said McBride was in a car crash several blocks away from the home about 1:30 a.m. Saturday and the shooting took place at 3:40 a.m. The woman's whereabouts for the 2-plus hours in between were unknown, CNN reported Thursday.
Police said they would conduct a thorough investigation into the incident before possibly filing charges against the homeowner, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Activists rallied Thursday near the Dearborn Heights Police station, protesting the shooting. Some compared McBride's death to that of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, who was shot in February 2012 by George Zimmerman, who cited the state's Stand Your Ground law.
"Black life is not valued in America, not worthy, not respected," said Detroit activist Yusef Shaker. "Here was a woman who was seeking help from potential danger and her life was taken ... . It's a Trayvon Martin case all over again."