Becky Bieker stood ready to hand over money when a group of robbers entered her Shawnee gun store in January.
With two guns pointed at her, she reached for the cash drawer then spotted a blur out of the corner of her left eye. A blow knocked her out.
She remained unconscious as a flurry of gunshots left her husband mortally wounded and three of the four robbers injured.
On Monday, Bieker told her story in a Johnson County courtroom as a preliminary hearing began for three of the four defendants charged with murder and other crimes in the death Jon Bieker, who co-owned the She’s A Pistol gun store with his wife.
The fourth defendant, Deanthony A. Wiley, 20, waived his preliminary hearing and intends to plead guilty, his lawyers said. According to testimony Monday, Wiley was the ringleader who entered the store first and pretended he wanted to purchase a gun.
All the defendants — Wiley, Londro E. Patterson III, 20, Nicquan K. Midgyett, 20, and Hakeem W. Malik, 18 — are charged with first-degree felony murder, attempted aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated battery.
Shawnee police called to the store in the 5700 block of Nieman Road just after 2 p.m. Jan. 9 found Patterson lying wounded in the parking lot. Inside the business, they found Bieker, 44, and Wiley both wounded.
A short time later, officers found Midgyett and Malik on the back porch of a nearby house. Midgyett also had been shot.
Becky Bieker was the first witness to testify Monday.
She and her husband were the only ones in the store when a young man wearing a wig came in and asked about a gun. Bieker said she handed him a handgun. After looking at it, he handed it back.
The man was talking on a cellphone when several other young men came in.
That was when the first man pulled a gun and pointed it at her.
She began reaching for the cash drawer with the intent of handing over the money. One of the other men also pointed a gun at her. The next thing she remembered was seeing a blur and waking up on the floor, spitting out blood.
It was “strangely quiet,” she said.
She called 911.
Then she saw one of the men and her husband on the floor. The man was reaching for a gun on the floor. Becky Bieker told him to stop or she would shoot. When he kept moving, she fired.
Bieker said she went to kneel next to her husband. The other man was still moving. Her gun was out of ammunition so she hit him with the gun she carried.
Bieker testified that she had no memory of what transpired between her husband and the robbers.
“I only remember hearing my own gunshots,” she said.
The blow to her face broke Becky Bieker’s nose. Bieker said she still experiences pain below her left eye.
Bieker said she thinks that several of the men had been in the store a few days before. She was not asked to attempt to identify any of the defendants in court Monday.
Four bullets hit Jon Bieker, said Charles Glenn, the doctor who performed the autopsy. The fatal shot struck him in the torso, passed through his aorta and struck his spine. He quickly lost consciousness because of the large amount of blood loss from the shot to the aorta.
“There isn’t anyone on earth who could have stopped him from dying at that point,” Glenn testified.
Stephanie Maile, the first Shawnee police officer to arrive, found Patterson on the ground outside the business. He was yelling for help and saying he didn’t want to die, she said.
He had a gunshot wound to his arm, which was bleeding heavily. She took action to stop the bleeding and held his hand until medical personnel arrived.
As other officers arrived, they began performing first aid on Jon Bieker and Wiley inside the store.
Witnesses told police that two other suspects had fled on foot to the east.
Officers with a dog were searching for them when a woman who lived nearby called and said two men were on her back porch.
Shawnee police Maj. Dan Tennis testified that he arrived at that location with other officers and saw Malik standing on the porch with his hands in the air.
Tennis ordered him outside and took him into custody.
Officers then spotted Midgyett face down on the porch floor.
He said he had been shot, and Tennis said he could see a bullet wound in his upper buttocks, lower back area.
“You could tell he was hurting,” Tennis said.
Police ordered Midgyett to crawl outside.
A nurse who treated Midgyett at the hospital testified that he told her he and others had gone to the store to steal guns. He told her he was just supposed to hold the backpack to carry the guns and that it wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did.
The next day, Midgyett gave a statement to police while still in the hospital.
Shawnee police Detective Matt Seichepine testified that Midgyett said Wiley talked about going to Kansas to rob a gun store. Malik and Patterson were with them when they drove to the store.
Wiley went in first, then called to tell them to bring in the backpack. Midgyett carried the bag in where Wiley told him to get the guns.
Midgyett told police that he had started to do so when a man came out of the back room and yelled for him to stop.
Midgyett said he raised his hands, turned to run, and was shot, according to the detective.
Malik also gave a statement to police. He said he only knew Wiley, not the other two who were with them. Malik said he believed they went to the store because Wiley wanted to buy a shotgun. Malik said when he went into the store he saw someone with a gun. He saw someone jump over the counter.
Then he heard shooting, and ran out of the store, according to testimony.
The preliminary hearing in front of District Judge Timothy McCarthy will determine if probable cause exists to take all but Wiley to trial. It is expected to wrap up Tuesday, when video recovered from the store’s surveillance camera system is expected to be entered into evidence.
According to court documents, the video shows suspects entering the store and pointing guns at Becky Bieker, who gets punched and knocked to the floor.
Jon Bieker comes from a back room and appears to fire a weapon, according to the documents. Three of the robbers flee out the door. One ends up on the floor. As Jon Bieker approaches him, Bieker appears to get shot. He falls to the floor.
Becky Bieker can be seen on the video firing a weapon in the direction of the robber on the floor.
After testimony ended Monday, Becky Bieker said it had been an emotional day for her and her family.
But she said she draws strength from her husband who is always with her.
“I want to show we can remain strong in the face of violence,” she said.
She and Jon shared the dream of helping other people protect themselves when they opened their store and she is committed to carrying on that dream.
“We all have the right to protect ourselves and lead a happy safe life,” she said.