An Independence man will spend 17 years in federal prison for illegally having a gun that he used to shoot his girlfriend two years ago.

William McGee, 45, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Kansas City. In April 2019, a federal jury found him guilty of illegally possessing the gun that he used to shoot his girlfriend last June. McGee was sentenced as a career criminal due to prior felony convictions.

On June 13, 2018, Independence police officers were sent to the Great Western Motel on U.S. 24 near Missouri 291 when a motel guest reported hearing gunfire. The caller said the suspected shooter was driving west on U.S. 24, according to court documents. Officers found the suspect vehicle in a nearby driveway, and McGee was standing beside the vehicle. When he saw officers, he reached behind his back, pulled out a 9mm handgun and threw it over the vehicle. McGee was arrested on a domestic assault warrant, and the officers found the gun still had one round.

McGee's girlfriend, standing beside him, said McGee had shot her outside their camper home at that location and was wounded in the buttocks. Police said that day the wound was "through-and-through" and not serious. Officers found multiple 9mm rounds of ammunition in the camper.

McGee had several prior felony convictions for delivering, distributing and possessing a controlled substance and carrying a concealed weapon. The case was investigated by Independence Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.