Saturday, October 17, 2015

10 Shots Fired in Holdup Fray

The following newspaper article is about Ben E. Mann.  Ben was married to Willa Isadore Main, who is the daughter of Jason Archie Main and Willa Ruth McCarthy.  Jason is a brother to Cora Viola Main, otherwise known as Grandma Scott (to me) – my mother’s mother.  That relationship makes Isadore (the name I knew her by) Grandma Scott’s niece.

The Kansas City Times (Morning Kansas City Star)
Friday, November 3, 1961, Page 1, Column 1

Crowded Store at Truman Corners Is Scene of Robbery Attempt
Ben E. Mann, 51, Wrestles One Man, Shoots at the Other

            An off-duty Jackson County deputy sheriff wrestled with one holdup man while he fought a gun battle with another in a crowded Katz drugstore in the Truman Corners center last night.
            Ten shots were exchanged, four by the officers and six by the robber, at a distance of 10 to 15 feet.
            The deputy, Ben E. Mann, 51, said he thought he hit the robber twice.  Mann was not hit.

Saw the Man Fire.

            “I don’t know how he missed me”, Mann said, “I saw him kneel down behind the counter and fire from between the shelves”.
            The shoppers in the store started screaming and running when the shooting broke out.  None was hit.
            The deputy, not in uniform, but carrying a snub-nosed pistol beneath his jacket, had gone to the store to buy some dog food.  A member of the sheriff’s patrol nine years, he works in the store as a store detective during the holiday seasons.

Warned by Official.

            Mann was standing by the prescription counter when George Stanley, Belton, assistant manager of the sundries department, walked past with another man behind him.  As he passed, Stanley, who is tall, leaned over to the shorter deputy and whispered:
            “Mr. Mann, this man has a gun on me to rob the store”.
            The deputy drew his pistol and ordered the robber to take his hands out of his pocket.  As he did this he was struck on the head with the butt of a gun by the second robber.
            A pharmacist, John W. Broyles, 11111 Bristol avenue, described what happened:
            “The man pulled the gun out as if he were going to shoot and changed his mind, flipped it over in his hand, and hit Mann a light blow with the butt.”
            The blow jarred me for a minute”, Mann said, “and it gave this man [in front of him] enough time to get his gun out of his pocket.  I grabbed his gun and held it down away from me”.
            Mann, holding one man’s gun hand down with his left hand, turned on the other gunman, who dashed behind a display case and started shooting.

Hits Glass Display.

            Mann’s first shot shattered a display of glass behind the robber.
            Then the robber moved to his right and fired two or three more times, the deputy said.  Mann said he was sure his second shot struck he robber in the abdomen.  A small spot of blood was found near the front door after the men dashed out.
            The robber and the deputy exchanged shots again.  Mann said he believed he had struck him a second time.
            All this time the man he was scuffling with kept repeating:
            “Don’t be a fool.  There’s three of us.  There’s somebody coming up behind you”.
            Finally the robber who had been firing at Mann dropped to one knee and took careful aim over the counter top.  He missed again and the officer fired back.
            Someone shouted at Mann, “Look out behind you”.
            When I heard that I figured it was the time to let go”, the deputy said.  The two robbers dashed out the front door to a 1956 blue-and-white Ford in the parking lot.
            Stanley ran behind the prescription counter when the shooting started.
            “I came out to help Mr. Mann, who was scuffling with the man”, he said, “and the other man drew a gun on me so I ducked under the counter”.

Started at 8:45.

            Stanley said the two robbers accosted him about 8:45 o’clock.
            One man, the one who fired, wore a suede jacket, a billed cap, and had a flesh-colored bandage on his nose.  The other had on light gray trousers, a jacket and carried a rolled up paper shopping bag which dropped on the floor in the excitement.
            “This man stopped me in the store and asked me if I was the manager”, Stanley said.  “I said no, but he showed me his gun and ordered me to the back of the store.  On the way, he told we were going to open the safe”.

Picture included with Newspaper Article

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