‘Greatest person in the world’: Owner of KCK market slain, woman shot, at store

Update: Kansas City, Kansas, police said Thursday the second victim in the shooting at Edwards Original Corner Market & Deli was still alive, though in critical condition. Police had earlier said both victims, including the owner, were dead. Owner Dennis Edwards was killed and a woman shot at the store was still alive. The new information is posted here.

Dennis Edwards, owner of Edwards Original Corner Market & Deli, was one of two people shot at the family business on Wednesday, his brother said.

David Edwards said he learned his brother was killed soon after the shooting Wednesday at the market at 81 North Mill Street in Kansas City, Kansas.

“He was the greatest person in the world,” David Edwards said. “If you were hungry and needed some food, he’d give it to you.”

The brother spoke near the crime scene, where police had responded to the shooting about 3 p.m. and encountered a shooting victim and an armed suspect, and then engaged in a two-hour standoff.

When it was over, a suspect was taken into custody with a gunshot wound and two people in the restaurant were found shot, according to police.

One of those victims, who police said was female, has not been named. Police initially said she was dead, but on Thursday said she was still alive and in critical condition.

The other victim was Dennis Edwards, the owner, his brother said.

In a 2008 photo, Dennis Edwards and his daughter Erika Hochard are pictured. They talked about running the Edwards Original Corner Market together. Dennis Edwards was killed in a shooting Wednesday, his brother said. A second victim has not been identified. Garvey Scott//The Kansas City Star

When Kansas City, Kansas, police officers first entered the market they found the female victim shot, the police department said in a news release.

The suspect, police said, pointed a handgun at officers, who fired shots at him and then left the market to seek cover.

For two hours, police negotiated with the suspect, an adult man, who barricaded himself inside.

Officers set up a perimeter around the restaurant. An armored vehicle also responded to the scene.

SWAT officers entered the restaurant and took the man into custody before 5:20 p.m. Police said he was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound.

The standoff drew about 20 officers and a large group of onlookers.

Once police got inside the market, they said a total of two people in the building were shot.

Family business

David Edwards said his parents opened the store in 1959. They mostly sold candy and soda.

As children, David and Dennis lived above the store. Dennis still lived there as an adult.

The parents closed the store in 1986 and Dennis reopened it about a decade ago, relatives said. He wanted to keep it in the family.

Dennis also made it a grocery store and deli, delivering food to courthouses and police departments, among other places.

He’d deliver as close as a block away for free, neighbors said.

Family members described Dennis Edwards as a “chatter box,” something he got from his father. Dennis Edwards had a daughter and two grandchildren, his brother said.

David Edwards was on his way home from work, about three blocks away, when a neighbor called him about the shooting.

When he arrived and a police officer told him he couldn’t leave, he knew something was wrong.

Soon, he found out what happened.

“I haven’t soaked it all in yet,” he said. “I can’t believe it.”

He knows when it does set in, it will hurt, he said.

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Luke Nozicka covers local crime and federal courts for The Kansas City Star. Before joining The Star, he covered breaking news and courts for The Des Moines Register.
Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.