Owner of comic book store dies during armed robbery - KCTV5

Owner of comic book store dies during armed robbery

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Chopper5's view of the scene where the incident happened. (KCTV) Chopper5's view of the scene where the incident happened. (KCTV)
Police say the man was hit by a vehicle while standing in the street. (KCTV5) Police say the man was hit by a vehicle while standing in the street. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A comic book store owner has died from his injuries following an armed robbery at his store after he was struck by the door of the fleeing robber's vehicle.

The man was hit at about 12:40 p.m. on Friday in the 3900 block of Walnut Ave.

Police say it all started as a robbery at a comic book store that's been there since the 1970s and is a mainstay in that part of Midtown.

According to the store's Facebook page, James Cavenaugh and his father bought the shop from Clint Murray in the 1970s.

Police describe what started this as a “strongarm robbery” and say the suspect struck Cavenaugh with his car door as he tried to drive away.

Witnesses who work next door at the Blind Tiger bar spoke to KCTV5 News and said they saw a man go into Clint's Comics on Main Street early in the afternoon. They had been throwing away some garbage and said they actually spoke with him as he said hello before he went into the shop.

“We saw a guy roll up in the car,”  Jason Howland, a witness, recounted. “He actually said ‘hi’ to us so I got a good look at him. Then he went into Clint’s Comics. Then a couple minutes later, he ran out with a stack of comic books with the owner coming after him.”

"The owner of the comic shop was saying, 'He stole from me! He stole from me!'" Kenneth Kepfer, another witness, said. "I went over there to intervene because I could tell by the way he was nervously opening his door something was wrong."

"The guy opened up his door and he backed up and he hit his head on the ground really hard," Kepfer said. "It was awful."

"Our owner ran across the street to the fire station to get EMTs and they were here pretty quick," Howland said. "Probably five minutes."

KCTV5 News has confirmed that Cavenaugh died from that head injury.

Police told KCTV5 News that they are still looking for the suspect, who is driving a white hatchback. 

The investigation has been reclassified to a homicide, police said.

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