Witness describes chaotic scene in parking lot of store - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

WEST MEMPHIS OFFICERS KILLED - CONTINUING COVERAGE

Witness describes chaotic scene in parking lot of West Memphis Walmart

Salin Bass' GMC Denali can be seen parked on the lower right side of this picture.  Moments after it was taken, the violent shootout occurred. Salin Bass' GMC Denali can be seen parked on the lower right side of this picture. Moments after it was taken, the violent shootout occurred.

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - One of the many witnesses to the violent May 20th shootout between authorities and a pair of suspects wanted for killing two West Memphis police officers described the violent scene Thursday.

Surveillance video recorded that day outside the Walmart in West Memphis shows customers calmly walking into the store, unaware that two killers were lurking.

Salin Bass was one of those customers.  In the video, Bass' black Denali is parked just steps away from where Jerry and Joseph Kane opened fire on two Crittenden County sheriffs.

"I can't even watch it without coming to tears," she said.

Bass was halfway to the front door of the store when the first shots rang out.

"I actually saw the first shot," she said.

Bass ran back to her car and hit the floor board.

"I was down on the floor board, but I was trying to look up and say, 'Please don't shoot through the truck, because I'm in here, you know?'"

Bass knew there was trouble brewing in West Memphis that day. Her boyfriend, a police officer, had just learned his best friend, Officer Bill Evans, had been shot to death on the interstate.   She didn't know that trouble would follow her.  

"Right as I was going, in that's when, 'Pow! Pow!'" she said. "I was like, 'Oh my God! They're here! That's them!'"

Bass said the chaos hit home on many levels: A friend was killed, she could have been killed, and her boyfriend spends his day running the risk of coming into contact with other violent criminals like Jerry and Joseph Kane.

"They deserved every bit of what happened to them. I wish they could suffer," she said. "You stop the wrong somebody, and you don't come home to your family. I mean, it's terrible."

When investigators searched the Kane's van they found a brick of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, including scales, screens and rolling papers.  They also found a revolver, an AK-47 assault rifle, and loads of ammunition.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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