LOWER NAZARETH TWP., Pa. - It's been just over a year since a deadly shooting in the parking lot of a Target store in Lower Nazareth Township. A preliminary hearing was held for Kevin Littles and Jakiye Taylor Friday at the Northampton County Courthouse. Both face charges in the shooting that left 20-year-old Elijah Johnson dead.

Officials confirm to 69 News that all charges against the men are held over for court, except the charges of theft by unlawful taking and criminal mischief.

Several witnesses took the stand, including state and local police, a shopper at Target that day, and friends of Johnson. One of the witnesses, Jayzell Sanders was with Johnson when he was shot and killed.

Sanders, who was also shot and returned fire that day, told the court, "There were two guns pointed at me, if I hadn't pulled it out, I would have died."

Sanders was charged with carrying a firearm without a license. He explained Friday that he had applied for a permit, but he hadn't received it yet.

Police officer James Alercia, testifying in court Friday, said he was dispatched to the Target in Lower Nazareth Township after 2 p.m. on August 8, 2021.

"It was a very chaotic scene with people everywhere," Alercia said.

Alercia describes multiple crime scenes, including one where he found a man, leaning on the side of a building, bleeding from his right shoulder.

That man, Jayzell Sanders testified Friday that he grew up going to school with 20-year-old Elijah Johnson, who was shot and killed that day.

Sanders says he got in the car with Johnson that day, thinking they were going somewhere else.

According to Sanders, Johnson, who was driving, told him he was making a stop at Target. Sanders says he didn't realize it was a drug deal at first.

"Two men got in the back seat of their car," Sanders said, and a bag was thrown to Johnson that was supposed to be money, and the next thing Sanders knew guns were "pointed at him and Johnson."

He says his friend, Johnson, jumped toward the men in the back.

"I remember hearing, 'do you really want to die over this?'" Sanders testified.

Sanders added, "It was all so quick, like quick tussling, and I just got out."

Sanders says he ran out of the car and turned around, then returning fire, explaining he placed his gun under a vehicle in the parking lot after he was shot.

"I tried to find help, quickly realized no one was going to help me with a gun in my hand," he said.

When the defense asked Sanders if he had hopes of a lighter sentence for testifying, Sanders answered, "I wouldn't say so. I'm really here for my friend's mother."

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