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Gunman who shot into crowd at Air Force party, killing McConnell airman, is sentenced

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)

A Wichita man has been ordered to serve 27 1/2 years in prison in a 2019 shooting that left a 20-year-old South Carolina airman stationed at McConnell Air Force Base dead and hurt three others.

Authorities say Markeithen E. “Red” McClaine, 28, fired at least six shots into a crowd of people who had gathered in the parking lot of Horizons East Apartments, 505 N. Rock Road, on July 27, 2019, following a party celebrating an upcoming Air Force deployment. McClaine had gone to the address with a woman to pick up a friend when a fight broke out in the parking lot.

Authorities say some members of the crowd surrounded the car but eventually let it drive away. McClaine reportedly ordered the driver to stop after the vehicle was in the clear, got out and fired a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun after any threat was already over.

Airman First Class Chancelor J. Williams, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was hit in the neck by one of the bullets and died at the scene. Two other people suffered gunshot wounds to their upper right legs and a third was shot in the abdomen, according to court records.

McClaine told police in an interview that he fired warning shots into the air before shooting toward the crowd because he was scared after a man pulled him out of the car.

He pleaded guilty in February ahead of his jury trial to second-degree murder and three counts of attempted second-degree murder.

Sedgwick County District Judge Kevin O’Connor imposed the 330-month sentence Thursday.


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