KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- It was an armed robbery spree that took place on both sides of the State Line in February and March of 2015.
The violence escalating each time, witnesses say, until a Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy was shot and critically wounded.
Wyandotte County prosecutors laid out their case today against the three men who they believe robbed 5 businesses and shot a deputy, so a judge can decide if there is enough evidence to send this case to trial.
A liquor store and two gas stations in Kansas City, Mo, and a family dollar and 7/11 in Kansas City, Kan. were targeted by the men witnesses say burst in with guns, wearing masks. Witnesses from all of the robberies said they were pistol whipped and the suspects left with cash.
Although none of the witnesses who took the stand Thursday could identify the suspects, because they were wearing masks, it was a fingerprint off of a packet of cigarettes at one of the crime sprees that led police to the suspects.
That fingerprint, police say, belonged to 24-year-old Dyron King. When officers went to his house with a search warrant, they found 18-year-old Charles Bowser’s car. Gloves in the car and clothing and shoes in king's house linked these two to the crime spree, police say. A later search of 35-year-old Cecil Meggerson's home also turned up evidence that he was involved.
Reginald Jones was shopping at the Family Dollar March 3, when he says three armed, masked men burst in, "I thought it was a dream. Really I thought it was a dream. It was so sudden. I wanted to be obedient I didn't want them to shoot me."
Jones testified that the men told him to get down on the floor and the clerk to get the money. There were shots fired, Jones says, each time the clerk told the men she couldn't open the safe. "They shot once on the floor and the lady screamed and i thought they was coming towards me because they didn't want any witnesses."
Both Jones and the female clerk ended up ok, but things escalated even more the next robbery at the 7-11 in Kansas City, Kan., March 4.
Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy Scott Wood was shot 7 times during the robbery.
In court, Wood testified that as he was talking to the clerk, he knew something was wrong, turned around and there was a man standing behind him with a gun in his face.
Wood laid on the ground during the course of the robbery, he says.
One of the suspects got his gun and knife and the deputy was shot. First shot in the jaw, then 5 times in the chest and abdomen and once in the shoulder. When it was over, the deputy tried to get up, he says, but was in a pool of blood, so he used his radio to call in officer down.
Deputy Wood says he still suffers from a collapsed lung, enlarged heart and now has a metal plate in his jaw.
The preliminary hearing continues Friday.