KANSAS CITY — Kevin Beaver usually walked from his West Plaza home to his Westport workplace, McCoy's Public House and Brew Kitchen, stretching the 15-minute walk into an enjoyable 20-minute stroll.
The Kansas City chef didn't see well enough to drive, and he never sensed any danger in his early-morning ritual.
Friday morning seemed no different. The man everyone called simply Beaver woke up before dawn, figured it was warm enough and kissed his wife goodbye.
By 6:20 a.m. he had reached 43rd and Wyoming streets. There, a would-be robber cut short the life of the simple, sweet, silly midtown man who taught himself to cook and worked his way into the kitchens of Kansas City.
“I bet you can’t walk into a kitchen in Kansas City without somebody in there who will know him,” said his friend, Melanie Roberts. “I guarantee it.”
Beaver struggled with the assailant. Police said the man pulled out a handgun and fired several shots into Beaver’s torso. Beaver ran around the corner and collapsed in the street, where neighbors found him. Neighbors rendered first aid until police arrived.
Police said Friday they had no suspects in the case.
Beaver’s wife, Susie, missed the first call from authorities about the shooting but rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital once she found out.
“Beaver would say, ‘Don’t panic,’ ” Susie said. “I kept hoping it wasn’t serious. Couldn’t possibly be. I didn’t want to believe it. That sort of thing happens to other people, other sad people on TV.”
By the time doctors let her into his room in the intensive-care unit he was brain-dead. Doctors had cut off part of his lung to save him, but he lost too much blood.
Beaver died at 9:11 a.m.
He would have turned 41 today. He was going to cook for his friends at his house to celebrate.
Read the full story at KansasCity.com