A recent Bloomberg Businessweek feature talked about the “out of control” crime problem facing Walmart, the monolithic super-store chain that has attracted some crime over the past few years. Just last month we reported about a crystal meth lab found underneath a Walmart parking lot in Upstate New York. Now, shoppers in Kansas are telling a frightening story of a vicious attack that put two people in the hospital and one in the county morgue.
It all happened Sunday afternoon at the Shawnee Walmart when an unidentified 39-year-old woman who had been shopping there was loading her young child into her car. She was attacked by John W. Simmons III, 28, and police say his accomplice was Arthur Fred Wyatt III, 27. They hit her over the head with a blunt object, but fortunately for her a Good Samaritan came to her aid. Unfortunately for him, he was then shot several times by one of the attackers. The gunfire caught the attention of a second Good Samaritan who then appeared and shot Simmons dead.
Simmons’ accomplice fled on foot. Police briefly held a suspect matching the description before releasing him. Authorities caught up with Wyatt on Tuesday and say he was the second man in the deadly attack and shoot-out. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated robbery.
The woman and the unidentified 33-year-old Good Samaritan who was shot were taken to an area hospital. The shooting victim underwent surgery and continues to be in serious condition. The woman was released from the hospital Monday. Simmons’ shooter was questioned by police before being released. No motive is known yet for the crime and the initial victim said she did not know either of her attackers.