How Shaka Senghor Felt the Moment He Took a Life

Season 7 Episode 707
CC | tv-14
What does it feel like to take another person's life? Oprah asks author and criminal justice activist Shaka Senghor, and it is perhaps the most difficult question he has had to answer.

In 1991, when he was just 17 years old, Shaka shot and killed a man. As a young drug dealer working on the streets of Detroit, Shaka had been shot three times himself. The incident heightened his anxiety, and he began acting out violently, brandishing his gun whenever he feared another attack.

Here, Shaka takes Oprah back to that fateful moment when, during a drug deal, he sensed a threat, leading him to pull the trigger and kill a man named David.

"I immediately knew it in my soul, like, that I just caused this man's death," he says. "It was just like this darkness that was just, this is it. Like you've taken somebody's life," Shaka says, struggling to find the right words. "And then the kid in me was, like—I just wanted to run away."

In the video above, Shaka expresses the inner turmoil he felt during that moment as he tried to come to grips with the crime he had just committed.