Missouri man enters plea in random gunfire killing

December 23, 2019 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A man who randomly fired a gun and killed a man as he sat in a car outside a Springfield McDonald’s restaurant has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Richard Gaines, who initially was charged with second-degree murder, instead pleaded guilty Friday to unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action in the November 2017 shooting that killed 28-year-old Zachary Zumwalt, the Springfield News-Leader reports. Under the plea, he accepted a sentence of 30 years in prison.

Zumwalt had been sitting in his car using the wireless internet provided by the McDonald’s when he was struck by the random gunfire.

During the hearing, Gaines turned his chair and spoke directly to Zumwalt’s family, who wore matching T-shirts bearing Zumwalt’s face.

“I truly never meant for none of this to happen at all,” Gaines said.