A white man was sentenced to prison and could spend up to 10 years behind bars for opening fire on a vehicle filled with Black teenage girls in Iowa last year.
In June, 26-year-old Michael McKinney pleaded guilty to willful injury and intimidation with a dangerous weapon for a shooting that took place after a Trump rally in Des Moines, the Associated Press reported.
On Dec. 6, 2020, Trump supporters surrounded the teens while they were in their vehicle before the two parties began engaging in a verbal altercation.
The teens put their car in reverse to escape the situation but ended up colliding with a pickup truck.
McKinney, who is an Army veteran, attended the rally and was outfitted with body armor and multiple weapons. During the scuffle, he shot into the vehicle and struck a 15-year-old girl in her leg.
According to court records, he said he fired into the car because he felt unsafe and believed he needed to protect himself.
The Des Moines Register
reported the injured teen told the court on Monday that she thought she was going to die and wasn’t sure if she would have the ability to walk ever again.
McKinney has since apologized to the teen for his actions and said he misjudged what was taking place that day.
The Associated Press
reported that originally authorities didn’t believe the incident was racially or politically motivated and reported that the shooting was the result of a traffic incident. However, the December pro-Trump rally was sponsored by Women for America First, the same organization that hosted the rally on Jan.6 in Washington D.C. and later led to the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
In recent months, authorities have faced criticism from Trump supporters for arresting and charging McKinney for the shooting. They said he protected other people who attended the rally by shooting into the car full of teens and that he was someone who supported Blue Lives Matter regularly.
A judge has since ordered no minimum amount of time that McKinney has to serve before he can be eligible for parole.