Man charged in Walmart shooting apologizes in court
WYNCOTE, Pa. (AP) — A Philadelphia man apologized as he was arraigned on charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault in a shooting that wounded several people in a Walmart near the city.
Keenan Jones, 30, apologized in a Montgomery County courtroom Wednesday, saying he hadn’t slept for five days and was afraid he was going to die before Tuesday evening’s shooting in the crowded Cedarbrook Plaza Shopping Center store. Five people were wounded, all with injuries said not to be life-threatening, and a pregnant woman “knocked to the ground during the pandemonium” also required medical treatment, officials said.
Video surveillance shows Jones standing in a checkout line and starting to walk toward the back of the line, then pulling a semi-automatic handgun and firing at a man standing only feet away, striking him, then running through the front end of the store “firing additional rounds indiscriminately as the victims, employees and customers run for safety,” authorities said in an affidavit of probable cause. An employee standing by the customer service area heard the commotion and started to walk toward the registers, then saw a man later identified as Jones fire at her, hitting her three times, authorities said.
Jones and a woman fled in a car, ditching the gun along the way, and entered the city of Philadelphia, where they rear-ended an empty police vehicle, authorities said. Two officers who were nearby taking an unrelated complaint saw their vehicle hit and chased Jones, and during a “violent struggle” one officer’s wrist was fractured and the other was left with abrasions, contusions, a black eye and a sprained ankle.
Police earlier said the shooter fired at least 10 shots. Prosecutors said he had several prior felony convictions that barred him from possessing a firearm. Cheltenham Township Chief of Police John Frye said Tuesday night that reports from the hospital indicated that the suspected shooter was “definitely on some type of drugs.”
Jones was held on $1 million cash bail on first-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and firearms charges pending an Aug. 22 preliminary hearing. Court documents don’t list a defense attorney.