After attending a Dec. 6 MAGAt rally in Des Moines near the state Capitol, Michael McKinney, 26, of St. Charles was charged with attempted murder and other crimes for the shooting, in which the 15-year-old girl was struck in the leg.
Witnesses and officials claim the the girls in the car and rally participants exchanged insults when the teenagers’ car was surrounded by Trump supporters. The car backed up to get away from the swarm of MAGAts and hit a pickup. One participant claimed the girls called the MAGAts, White Supremacists, and other witnesses claimed the MAGAts asked the teens if they were on welfare because in MAGAt world, only black people collect welfare.
At that point, McKinney, an army veteran who police say was wearing body armor and carrying several firearms, approached and shot into the car, striking the girl in the leg. He later told police he “shot because he felt he was in danger and was protecting himself,” according to a search warrant.
McKinney was arrested at the scene and pleaded guilty in June to two charges: intimidation with a dangerous weapon, and willful injury. Both carry a maximum sentence of 10 years, and the first charge must carry a sentence of prison time, rather than probation or being deferred, under Iowa law.
The rally was sponsored by Women for America First sponsored the MAGAt rally; they are the same ‘good people’ who later hosted the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., before the Capitol riot.
Many of the MAGATs attending the rally criticized authorities for charging McKinney, arguing that his shot protected them by scaring the car away and noting that McKinney frequented pro-police “Back the Blue” rallies.
The judge, noting McKinney’s lack of criminal history and honorable discharge from the military, ordered two sentences to run concurrently, for a maximum of 10 years.
In a statement read to the court, the victim described the physical and mental scars she carries from the shooting.
“I believed I was going to die the day I was shot. I didn’t know if I would be able to walk again,” she wrote, adding later “I’m a 16-year-old young lady and would love to love myself, but it’s hard when I look at my scars and remember the events of Dec. 6, 2020.”