A Minnesota man accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-fiancée in the parking lot of an Amazon fulfillment center earlier this month has now been charged with two counts of murder.
Donte Rapheal McCray, 32, was initially charged with one count of manslaughter in the second degree over the early January shooting incident in Lakeville, an exurb in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
Lakeville police originally described the defendant as an acquaintance of the deceased and noted that her baby was delivered at a nearby hospital, alive, but did not offer any details on the newborn’s condition.
The next day, however, a criminal complaint was filed in Dakota County charging McCray with one count of murder in the second degree over the death of Kyla O’Neal, 31. Prosecutors now claim the woman’s death was intentional but not premeditated.
According to the Lakeville Police Department, a “distraught” McCray told responding officers he and O’Neal “had been in an argument most of the day” because she had learned that he had “another child with another woman” while she was pregnant. At some point, McCray allegedly told police, he took a Lyft to his mother’s house but then O’Neal “came and picked him back up” to take him to work.
In the defendant’s first alleged version of the story, he “realized he had guns in his bags” and wanted to make sure they were not chambered so as to make the guns “safe for his kids.” Then, he allegedly said, he tried to “clear” a gun in the parking lot – which O’Neal objected to. When she began driving away, the first version of the story goes, McCray held onto her car and accidentally shot her in the neck.
O’Neal’s mother, when speaking with police later on, recounted additional events leading up to the shooting that day.
The victim’s mother allegedly said she had been “called over” to the couple’s residence because one of O’Neal’s children told her McCray “was getting aggressive” with their mother, according to the complaint. Upon learning about McCray’s alleged infidelity, O’Neal said “she didn’t want to be bothered” with him and that he “had to go,” her mother added. Additionally, O’Neal’s mother told police, her daughter said that when the baby was born, he wouldn’t have McCray’s name.
An unidentified witness cited by police allegedly said the defendant repeatedly threatened the victim on the day in question.
While the couple was allegedly arguing over a set of keys, the witness says they had to break up a scuffle. In that altercation, O’Neal allegedly broke McCray’s phone. He then allegedly told O’Neal that if another man came around his kids, he was “going to kill your ass.”
“You all ain’t bulletproof,” the defendant allegedly told the family. “I’m going to f— you all up. You ain’t bulletproof.”
Officers say they then reviewed surveillance footage of the shooting and confronted McCray with what they had learned.
At that point, police say, the defendant’s tune changed.
“[McCray] admitted when [O’Neal’s] car backed up, he was angry that the door hit him and he raised the gun, pointed it at [her] and pulled the trigger,” the Jan. 10, 2023 criminal complaint alleges. “[McCray] claimed that he did not know there was still a round in the chamber of the gun when he pointed it and shot. [McCray] told police he has taken two firearm safety courses.”
O’Neal was found unresponsive and bleeding. She was rushed to the Hennepin County Medical Center where she was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound that “transected her cervical spine.”
Doctors performed an emergency c-section in an effort to save her baby boy and eventually got a pulse.
According to Minneapolis-based Fox affiliate KMSP, O’Neal’s family confirmed that Messiah O’Neal was named by them the day after his mother was killed. They told the TV station that the child died last week in the hospital. He was 9 days old.
A GoFundMe for Kyla O’Neal’s funeral expenses and to help care for her three surviving children was started by her eldest sister, who remembers the deceased mom as an “intelligent Queen.”
McCray appeared in court earlier this week to account for the second murder charge. He is currently being detained on $2 million bail. His next court appearance is currently slated for Feb. 16.
[image via Lakeville Police Department]
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