SHAWNEE, Kan. — The woman who was attacked in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart on Shawnee Mission Parkway off Interstate 435 says she does not know the suspects who attacked her, and police say they are still looking for the second suspect.
The 39-year-old KCK woman told police she had just finished shopping at the store when the suspects attacked. Investigators say two suspects approached the woman as she was putting her baby in its car seat and hit her in the head.
Police say a bystander witnessed the attack and stepped in to help the mother but was subsequently shot multiple times when one of the suspects opened fire.
According to police, another bystander stepped in and shot one of the suspects. That suspect, who police identified as 28-year-old John W. Simmons III., died at the scene. The other suspect fled.
The mother was initially taken to the hospital with critical head injuries, but Shawnee Police said on Monday morning she has since been released. The baby was unharmed.
The 33-year-old bystander who was shot was also taken to a hospital with critical injuries. According to officers, that person underwent surgery on Sunday, but was later reported to be awake and alert.
Shortly after the shooting, police took someone into custody for questioning but later determined that person was not involved in the crime.
FOX 4 spoke to Janet Lewis, a mother who lives in an apartment complex across the street from the Wal-Mart. She said police came and arrested her son in the parking lot outside her home and accused him of being one of the suspects.
Police said he matched the description of what they obtained from Wal-Mart surveillance cameras. Lewis said her son is innocent, and was at home when the shooting happened.
“As I come pulling up, I see them arresting my son. I didn’t make it to park the car because as I seen my son, and the police around my only child, I sped up,” Lewis recalled. “He was a little pissed off. I’m going to put it out there. He was pissed off.”
Lewis said the police eventually did take her son into custody as a possible suspect, but he was released when police determined he was not involved.
There is no word yet why the suspects attacked the woman. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Shawnee Police at (913) 631-2150.