Suspected Robber Shot At Independence Store

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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UPDATE: Wednesday, January 9, 2013

People who know the owner of an Independence coin shop owner injured during an attempted robbery that also left the suspect severely injured say he is a very well-liked man in the southeast Kansas community.

A cousin of Ken Preble, owner of Uncle Ken's Coin and Jewelry Shop, never expected him to have to deal with anything like Wednesday's incident.

"He's just a real good, mild guy," said Jim Richardson. "Never been in any trouble. Just a super guy."

That's why Richardson was shocked to learn his cousin had ben shot during an attempted robbery.

"We didn't know what to do and then we heard a lot of different stories, you know," Richardson said.

Independence Police Chief Harry Smith said the suspect entered the shop about 10:30 a.m. and pulled a gun. Preble was also able to grab a gun, Smith said, and both men were shot during a struggle.

Smith said the suspect ran from the business and made it about a block before police caught up with him. Both the suspect and Preble were taken to an Independence hospital. The suspect was later flown to a Wichita hospital.

Richardson and his wife were on their way to visit Preble in the Independence hospital, where the coin shop owner was undergoing surgery. He was shot once in the left arm during the struggle with the suspect, Smith said.

Richardson is in touch with Preble pretty often because he owns a similar business.

"We have the coin, knife and gun shop in Neodesha, so we kind of coordinate back and forth a little bit," he said.

Richardson described his cousin's Independence business as a quiet, laid-back business.

"I think he normally runs it by himself," Richardson said. "He and his little dog."

Richardson and his wife helped Preble set up shop about a decade ago.

"He started his little coin shop in Cherryvale and he gradually moved over here," he said. "I think he's had this shop for around 10 years or 11 years."

Other people who work nearby echoed what Richardson said about Preble: He is a nice, likable person and nobody ever expected him to have to deal with anything like this.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A suspected robber and a store owner are hospitalized after they shot each other earlier this morning in southeast Kansas.

It happened late Wednesday morning at Uncle Ken's Coin Shop, located in the 1800 block of North Penn Avenue in Independence.

Police tell KAKE News a man came into the store with a handgun and demanded cash.

As the suspect was taking the money, the store's owner, Kenny Preble, pulled out a gun and some type of struggle ensued. Both men fired, and both were shot.

Police located the suspect about a block away. He had been shot multiple times. He was taken to an Independence hospital, then flown to a Wichita hospital. His current condition is unknown.

Preble was shot in the arm, and is undergoing surgery.

The stolen cash was recovered.

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