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Crime In Walmart shooting trial, Philadelphia man to mount insanity defense

20:50  15 october  2019
20:50  15 october  2019 Source:   philly.com

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More than a year after police said his “indiscriminate” gunfire wounded five people and caused chaos inside a crowded suburban Walmart, a Philadelphia man will head to trial this week on attempted murder and related charges.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Police personnel descended on the Walmart in Cheltenham Township on August 14, 2018, after five people were shot. The gunfire allegedly started after Keenan Jones fired at a man he had been arguing with in the store's checkout line.© ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Police personnel descended on the Walmart in Cheltenham Township on August 14, 2018, after five people were shot. The gunfire allegedly started after Keenan Jones fired at a man he had been arguing with in the store's checkout line.

Keenan Jones, 31, was arrested after the August 2018 incident, which drew national headlines. Police said the shooting started after Jones got into an argument with another customer while standing in the checkout line at the Cheltenham Township store..

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Jones’ attorney, Vanessa L. Bellino, said Tuesday that he will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Bellino told Common Pleas Judge Risa Vetri Ferman that Jones suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, and has ever since witnessing the murder of his father, James Hayes, in 2004.

a couple of men standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Keenan Jones, a Philadelphia man who allegedly shot five people at a Walmart in August 2018, is escorted into a courtroom inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown. Jones is accused of opening fire at the store in Cheltenham Township and then fleeing the scene.© TIM TAI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Keenan Jones, a Philadelphia man who allegedly shot five people at a Walmart in August 2018, is escorted into a courtroom inside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown. Jones is accused of opening fire at the store in Cheltenham Township and then fleeing the scene.

At his arraignment on the day after the shooting, Jones told a local judge that he “needed hospital help.” He complained that he hadn’t slept in five days, and had eaten food that made him feel strange.

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Investigators have said the violent outburst began when Jones grabbed a 9-mm handgun from his sister’s waistband and fired once at the man he had been arguing with — it was unclear what the dispute was over.

Jones’ sister is registered to carry the firearm and has not been charged in the shooting. Jones is not permitted to carry a gun because he has previous felony convictions for witness intimidation and firearm offenses.

In the affidavit of probable cause for Jones’ arrest in the Walmart shooting, investigators described the scene as “pandemonium.” They said he ran through the store, firing random shots as customers and store employees ran for safety.

Surveillance footage showed that Jones “specifically targeted a second victim” for unspecified reasons as he tried to flee the store. Jones shot that victim, a woman, four times, according to the affidavit. One of the shots severed an artery.

Jones and his sister then fled the store in a Pontiac Grand Prix, stopping to discard the gun nearby, police said. They were later arrested after crashing the sedan into a parked Philadelphia police car, there on an unrelated matter.

The trial is expected to last through Friday, with the jurors expected to be selected by Tuesday afternoon.

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©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Police: Man Shot Up To 15 Times In North Philadelphia .
The shooting happened just before 12:30 a.m. Friday on the 1700 block of Tilghman Street. © Provided by CBS Broadcasting Inc. Police arrived to find about 23 spent shell casings but no victim. While investigating, a local hospital notified officers that a 27-year-old man came in with multiple gunshot wounds. “He walked into the emergency room. Right now he is undergoing surgery. He is in critical condition but although he was shot multiple times, he is expected to survive,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

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