SHAWNEE, Kan. -- It's been nearly a week since a Shawnee business owner was shot and killed inside his store. Hundreds went back to She's A Pistol Thursday night to honor Jon Bieker and show his family they are #ShawneeStrong.
"We want to show people what true love, true coming together, and true community can be," friend Mike Saylor said to a crowd.
With their candles lit and eyes filled with tears, hundreds gathered outside of the store that was always open to anyone. But for the past week, the doors have been closed.
"I didn't want to believe anyone was hurt," Saylor said.
Saylor was one of the first to get the call. He's an instructor at She's A Pistol and rushed to the store when business owners nearby said they heard gunfire.
"Becky was out front dealing with a customer, then Jon recognized something was going on and immediately came out as they took the fight to them," he said.
Police say four teens ran into the store to try to rob the Biekers and that's when Saylor said his friend did what he taught his town to do: defend.
"He protected what he believed in. He protected Becky," Saylor said.
Gunfire was exchanged and Jon was killed. Becky survived and all four suspects were taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder.
"The store will open. They will not win," Saylor said to the crowd.
Hundreds made donations to ensure the doors will not be closed for long.
"I told my partner Jim, I said, 'I'm going down there one way or another," Shawnee resident Elaine Copp said.
They all signed a banner for the Biekers, too.
"We are united as one. We want to make sure this stuff doesn't happen again," Shawnee resident Royal Krueger said.
Everyone says Becky has lost her backbone and soulmate, but they want her to know when she needs someone to lean on, she has every single person here. That banner will be inside city hall for the next couple of days, everyone is invited to sign it.