People shot at Cheltenham Walmart in August 2018 testify at Jones trial

Keenan Jones
Photo credit Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
By KYW Newsradio 1060
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The latest in the trial of 31-year-old Philadelphia man Keenan Jones, accused of shooting up a Cheltenham Walmart in August 2018, included first-hand accounts on Thursday from people who were shot, including a store manager who nearly died from a severed artery in her ankle. 

The first person shot at the store on Easton Road was Kevin Richards, who testified that he was waiting to check out when he noticed Jones and Jones’ sister near a checkout counter. He said when he made eye contact with Jones, Jones asked him, "What are you looking at?" And before he could respond, he says, Jones pulled a gun from his sister's waistband and shot him once in the leg.

Akiya Dash was the customer service manager that day.

She said that around 6 p.m., she thought she heard breaking glass near a register. But as she walked toward the sound, she says she saw Jones as he ran for the exit.

Dash was wearing Muslim garb, she says, when they made eye contact. She said, when she saw the mark of prostration on Jones' forehead, she thought, "He won't shoot me. We're the same."

She paused in her testimony. Then, through sobs, she said, "He shot me."

Dash was shot four times. One bullet severed an artery in her ankle. Three other shots hit her in the leg. She says she’s been unable to work, unable to even leave the house.

She was one of five people shot that day, all of whom survived.

Jones' attorney says her client suffers from PTSD, from when he watched his dad die when he was 16, and when he saw his friend killed a couple of months before the shooting. 

She says leading up to the shooting, Jones’ girlfriend had been in labor for 36 hours, and he hadn’t slept in days. During opening statements, she asked jurors to keep an open mind, telling them at the end of the trial she'll ask them to find Jones not guilty by reason of insanity.