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KC police arrest two suspects in barber’s death

Kansas City police arrested two suspects Thursday in the Wednesday night shooting death of a barber during an apparent robbery gone bad.

An off-duty police officer arrived at Barbershop 67 at 3402 Troost Avenue about 6:10 p.m. to get a haircut and found the 53-year-old barber lying on the floor with no signs of life. Police said evidence at the scene helped them narrow their search for possible suspects.

Police did not identify the victim, pending notification of relatives. He was working alone when killed. Witnesses saw two men running out the back of the shop after the shooting, police said.

Ella Strong, who lives next door to the victim, said the barber only cut hair of customers he knew and that customers had to be “buzzed into” the shop by an employee.

He had started cutting hair at the new shop about a month ago. He had cut hair for many years, she said, in various shops and out of his basement.

Strong said the barber lived with his two adult sons and took care of his disabled brother. He was a good neighbor, she said, and he personally landscaped his front yard with two trees, two rows of bushes and two large white mums.

Police described the shop as upscale, featuring big-screen television sets, snack machines and a pool table in a waiting area. Strong said the victim rented a booth “and liked that place,” but he eventually wanted to open his own barbershop.

Christine Vendel, cvendel@kcstar.com

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