The teenager who shot two people last year at the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg pleaded guilty Wednesday to four felony charges.
19-year-old Neil MacInnis will be sentenced at 9 a.m. July 10. MacInnis pleaded guilty in Montgomery County court on Wednesday to two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony.
MacInnis could get life sentences on the aggravated malicious wounding charges.
The shootings happened on April 12, 2013 at a satellite campus of New River Community College, which is inside of the New River Valley Mall. Both of the shooting victims survived the attack.
During Wednesday's hearing the prosecutor presented 13 exhibits. The first 12 were photos of the victims’ injuries and scene setters for the day of the shooting.
It was exhibit 13 that got everyone’s attention. It was a compilation of four cell phone videos. In that video - made two days before the shooting - MacInnis spoke about what he was going to do. He also spoke about mental illness.
In the video, MacInnis held up shotgun shells that he presumably used in the New River Valley Mall shooting days later. He spoke about the Virginia Tech shootings that happened when he was a student at Christiansburg High School.
We also heard the prosecutor speak about a school shooting that MacInnis had planned at Christiansburg High School when he was a student there, but was quote “disappointed because he was too young to buy a gun.”
MacInnis’ family apparently became aware of his thoughts and plans, and sought out mental health treatment for him.
MacInnis wore an orange, jail-issued jumpsuit in court and was shackled during Wednesday’s proceeding. He shook during parts of the hearing and gave short answers to the judge’s questions. His parents sat in the row behind him, and his mother cried during parts of the hearing.