Gunman identified in Cheltenham Walmart shooting

Keenan Jones faces charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Jim Melwert
August 15, 2018 - 10:18 am
Keenan Jones

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A 30-year-old Philadelphia man is facing a long list of charges, including attempted murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault.

Keenan Jones is accused of shooting up a Walmart in Wyncote, in Cheltenham Township on Tuesday night. 

Keenan Jones told the judge at his arraignment on Wednesday that he’s never acted out like this before, but that he’s been stressed out, feeling like his head was going to explode. During his video arraignment, he said he’d eaten something days ago that had him feeling strange, and he says he had a child the night of the rampage. He said that he doen’t remember anything and he apologizes to anyone who was hurt, including police.

District Judge Christopher Cerski told Jones he would call the county prison directly to let them know he needed medical attention. He ordered Jones held on $1 million cash bail, citing a concern for public safety.

According to the criminal complaint, the entire incident is caught on video. Jones is seen in the checkout line when he pulls a gun and shoots a man point blank. Then, the complaint says, he’s seen firing indiscriminately as he runs for the door, leaving elderly people and parents with young children scrambling.

The complaint says five people were shot, and all survived. A pregnant woman needed medical attention after she was knocked down. Two police officers were hurt trying to take Jones into custody, one of them with a broken wrist.

Officials said early Wednesday they were not sure when the store would open back up, but employees were inside, back on the job, trying to get things back to normal.

When gunshots rang out the night before, the scene was anything but normal. Employees and customers rushed to safety. One woman who experienced the terror first hand, Jaynee Davis, returned to the Cedarbrook Plaza Shopping Center on Wednesday morning to get her car.

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She remembered the chaos of the night before.

"I ran where I saw a clearance for me to run, and that was to the side of the store. So, it was terrifying," she said. But she says she counts her blessings; it could have been much worse. Eight people were injured, five of them shot. No one received any life-threatening injuries.

Davis says there were around six or seven people there too, and they soon were joined by someone else.

"A young man hobbled back," Davis said. "He had been shot."

Davis said he was hit in the leg, and they wrapped it up to stop the bleeding. She says she was hurt too. She has a gash on her arm, which she got after running into a shelf while trying to get away. 

Several units from different police departments around the area rushed to the store, located at 1000 Easton Road.

According to authorities, there was an altercation between Jones and another customer in the check-out line. Words were exchanged, and then Jones pulled a gun from his sister's waistband and started shooting. 

Officials say she has a permit and was carrying the gun legally. She is not charged, but the investigation continues.

Police say at least 10 rounds were fired.

After the shooting, the suspects fled the scene in a Pontiac Grand Prix. After tossing the gun out of the car at Stenton and Mount Pleasant avenues, Jones slammed his car into a Philadelphia police car.

The gun that was thrown out of the car has been recovered by police. Authorities are not searching for anyone else in connection with this shooting.

Cheltenham Chief of Police John Frye said Tuesday night that Jones appeared to be on some type of drugs.

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KYW Newsradio's Tim Jiimenez, Mike Dougherty and Rachel Kurland contributed to this report.