Four hoodie-wearing thieves entered the gun store that caters to female clients in Shawnee, Kansas this afternoon, perhaps thinking that a store with a female market and a female co-owner might be an easy target for an armed robbery by a large “crew.”
The gunfight broke out after four robbers entered She’s A Pistol, at 57th Street and Nieman Road, about 2:10 p.m., according to Shawnee police.
One robber struck the store’s female co-owner in the face, police said. The shooting started after that. Police didn’t know who fired first or how the gun battle unfolded, but it left the other co-owner and two robbers with critical gunshot wounds. A fourth person, one of the robbers, had less-serious gunshot injuries.
The owners both opened fire, and dropped two of the criminals inside the store. A third criminal was injured in the botched robbery, and fled with the fourth and only uninjured member of the robbery crew into a nearby neighborhood, where they sought refuge. The homeowner there locked them out and called 911 instead.
They were quickly captured, and all four robbers are in custody.
Unfortunately, the husband in the husband-and-wife-owned business, Joe Bieker, 44, succumbed to his injuries this afternoon. Becky Bieker survived the gunbattle.
The criminals (however many survive) will face first degree murder charges under K.S.A. 21-3401, Kansas’s implementation of the felony murder rule. They face a possible death penalty case, though Kansas hasn’t put anyone to death in 20 years.
Our thought and prayers go out to the Bieker family this evening.
We’d like to give something to the criminals as well, but intravenous chlorine bleach is apparently frowned upon.