A woman’s piercing cries for help echoed across the parking lot of a Shawnee Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon in September.
Within a matter of seconds, one man lay fatally shot, and another was gravely wounded.
On Tuesday, the men and women who lived through that ordeal testified at a court hearing for a man now charged for his alleged role in that spasm of violence.
After hearing the testimony, the judge found there was sufficient evidence to take the case to trial.
Arthur Fred Wyatt III, 28, is charged in Johnson County District Court with aggravated battery, attempted first-degree murder, attempted aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated robbery.
The incident Sept. 11 in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road allegedly began when Wyatt and another man attacked a woman.
A man who tried to help the woman was shot by one of the attackers, later identified as John W. Simmons III of Kansas City.
Simmons, 28, was then fatally shot by another man who heard the woman’s screams and ran to her aid.
The incident began when Wyatt and Simmons allegedly attacked a woman in the parking lot, according to testimony. The woman testified Tuesday that as she was getting into her car, a man she didn’t know began hitting her in the head and pulling her hair.
She was struck numerous times before she was able to pull free and run away. It later took 26 staples to close the gashes on her head, she said.
In court Tuesday, she identified Wyatt as the man who struck her. She said she did not know Wyatt or Simmons.
Several men heard her screaming for help and ran to the scene.
One of them, Joshua Owen, testified Tuesday that he saw the woman covered with blood, and she pointed to a van parked next to her car. Owen saw a man getting out of the van, and he tackled the man.
As they struggled, the man pulled a gun and shot Owen in the face. They continued struggling, and Owen was shot in the wrist and shoulder before collapsing.
The man with the gun, later identified as Simmons, pointed the gun at Owen before another man ran up and shot Simmons multiple times.
Owen said he has undergone facial surgery and another surgery to remove the bullet from his shoulder.
Wyatt reportedly ran from the scene, but he turned himself in to Shawnee police two days later.
After binding him over for trial, District Judge Brenda Cameron scheduled his arraignment for Friday.