Iowa man pleads guilty to shooting Black teen at pro-Trump parade
An Iowa man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to shooting into a car with four Black teenage girls inside who had been arguing with Trump supporters, seriously injuring one of the girls.
Michael McKinney, 26, pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury, the Des Moines Register reports. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, though the parole board will ultimately decide how long he serves.
The incident occurred in December 2020 at a pro-Trump parade. A car with four Black teenagers followed the parade, arguing with supporters, who vastly outnumbered the girls, the Register reports. This event was sponsored by Women for America First, the same group that hosted the rally that took place before the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The Trump supporters surrounded the car and when the vehicle began to back up, McKinney, an Army veteran, fired into the car from about 15 feet away, shooting a 15-year-old girl in the leg. According to police, McKinney was carrying two magazines, was wearing body armor and had more firearms in his car.
A veteran has been charged with attempted murder for shooting & wounding a 15-year-old Black girl at a Trump rally in Iowa.
Michael McKinney shot into a car with 4 unarmed Black teen girls in Dec. He says he shot in self-defense, though he was heavily armed & wearing body armor. pic.twitter.com/075F9antUI
— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 15, 2021
As part of the plea agreement, four charges against McKinney have been dismissed, including attempted murder. According to the Register, authorities attempted to downplay the political and racial context of the shooting, characterizing it as a traffic dispute, The Associated Press reported.
His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 9.
The Register notes that if McKinney had been convicted of all the charges against him, he could have been required to serve up to 32 years in prison.