SHAWNEE, Kan. -- It has been 10 months since 44-year-old Jon Bieker was killed during a shootout at the gun store he owned with his wife. “She's A Pistol” is much more than the name of that store; it describes the personality of Bieker's widow, who has turned tragedy into triumph.
"I'm happy, I'm excited," said Becky Bieker at She’s A Pistol’s grand opening of her new location at 64th Terrace and Quivira Road. Bieker greeted customers, new and old, with a big smile on her face.
It’s good to see that smile again. In January, Jon was killed during a robbery at She's A Pistol's former location at 57th and Nieman Road.
After the tragedy, Chad Stevens, a former high school friend of Bieker's stopped by to give his condolences. Like many in the community, once Stevens stopped by, he stayed.
"She's got the biggest heart in the world," said Stevens of his long-time friend.
What started out as a helping hand has turned in to a full-time job for Stevens who quit his contracting job and now works at She's A Pistol. He is just one of the people who has helped Bieker get back on her feet and move on.
"Customers, vendors, friends, other employees. Everyone came in to help," said Stevens.
Karen Lauer-Moore lives in Shawnee and is a brand new customer at She’s A Pistol.
“To know what she has gone through, and a lot of people would quit, but she has persevered,” Laurer-Moore said of Bieker.
Laurer-Moore will be back Tuesday night for her first safety class. Empowering women is one of the reasons the Biekers opened their store together, and continues to be Jon's legacy.
“He and I believed that everyone should be able to defend themselves and he proved that with his life. He saved me, and in my opinion he also saved our community from those four people victimizing someone else," said Bieker of her husband.