Homicide

Business owner shot to death in Claycomo; daughter is critically wounded

Updated: 2014-01-25T15:14:31Z

By MATT CAMPBELL and DONALD BRADLEY

The Kansas City Star

A well-known Claycomo business owner and racing enthusiast was shot to death late Friday afternoon and his daughter was critically wounded in what authorities were calling a domestic dispute.

About two hours after the killing of Raymond Littrell, 73, his son turned himself in at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in Liberty. Frank Littrell was accompanied by a family member who had called 911 and told authorities he wanted to come in.

The two were told to drive to the Sheriff’s Office, shut the engine off, turn the dome light on, open the windows, and place their hands out of their windows, according to authorities.

The shootings occurred about 5:15 p.m. within Clay County Engine Rebuilders, 46 E. U.S. 69. Jack Foster, public safety director for Claycomo said the dead man was the owner of the business.

Raymond Littrell was known for building high-end racing motors and for racing cars and boats himself. The business, which dates to 1966, is also known as Ray’s Automotive..

“He’s just a great guy,” said friend Jeff Holman, who was among many people who came to the shop Friday upon hearing the news. “There were so many people that loved him.”

The suspected shooter had been seen fleeing south on Interstate 35. Foster said the weapon used was a .45 handgun.

“As far as we know, it was a domestic dispute, maybe child custody,” Foster said.

The wounded woman was taken to North Kansas City Hospital.

Raymond Littrell reportedly owned several properties near his shop, several of which had apartments that he would make available to people who needed a place to stay, said family friend Christina Smith.

She said Littrell built professional racing motors and raced at Lakeside Speedway and Valley Speedway in Grain Valley. She said he had won numerous championships. His office reportedly was adorned with racing trophies.

“It’s shocking. It’s terrible,” Smith said as law officers worked the crime scene. “Ray would do anything for anyone. He was the epitome of a good person, for the whole community.”

To reach Matt Campbell, call 816-234-4902 or send email to mcampbell@kcstar.com. To reach Donald Bradley, call 816-234-4182 or send email to dbradley@kcstar.com.

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