Response times questioned after comic store owner's death

Posted at 6:28 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 22:43:18-04

After the owner of Clint's Comics died following a robbery, witnesses say first responders took too long to provide help.

James Cavanaugh owns Clint's Comics and was attempting to stop a shoplifter on Friday when he was killed. He died after being knocked to the ground during the confrontation. The suspect took off in a white hatchback.

Rick Stasi, a lifelong friend of Cavanaugh, said witnesses told him they were on hold with 911 dispatchers for 17 minutes before getting through.

Witnesses said they even drove themselves to the Westport fire station because it was taking first responders too long. James Howland works nearby at the Blind Tiger.

"Our owner ran to the fire station real quick to get EMT and ambulance. They came pretty quick after that," said Howland.

Deputy Chief James Garrett with the Kansas City Fire Department researched the response times.

"From the time we received the call to the time we got there was about 4 minutes and 40 seconds," said Garrett.

Garrett tells 41 Action News that police dispatchers answer all 911 calls and notify MAST paramedics if they're needed. Garrett doesn't know how long callers were on hold with police.

Kansas City Police Department spokeswoman Stacey Graves said they're researching following several inquiries from the media.

"We don't have anyone who was on hold for 17 minutes, so we are looking into that," said Graves.