Friend: Comic store owner critically hurt in shooting
Posted by Dave Murray | The Grand Rapids Press April 26, 2008 14:30PM
Categories: Breaking News
KENTWOOD -- Friends of a comic-book store owner shot in an apparent robbery said they can't understand why the shop would be a target.
David Pirkola is in critical but stable condition in a local hospital, said Stephen Jahner, who owns Apparitions Comics and Books with Pirkola.
"People open comic stores because they love comics and are lucky if they can make a living," Jahner said. "It's not like we ever have a lot of cash in the store. It's just unbelievable."
Kentwood police said a man entered the store at 2757 Ridgemoor Drive SE around 7 p.m. and demanded money, shot Pirkola and fled.
Jahner said Saturday he has known Pirkola for decades.
"He's just a sweet guy, one of the nicest people you'll ever meet," he said. "He's the kind of guy you want watching your back."
Jahner, who owns Capital City Collectibles in Lansing, said Pirkola enjoys role-playing games and is well known in comic circles for his devotion to the store.
He said he was informed of the shooting from another Apparitions employee, and together they will try to keep the shop open until Pirkola recovers.
Other Grand Rapids comic store owners said they were shocked to hear about the shooting.
"Comic-book store owners tend to have an affinity for each other," said Kirby Tardy, owner of Tardy's Collector's Corner, 2009 Eastern Ave. SE. "It's a tough business, and it takes a lot of love to keep it going."
Kentwood police said the crime remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 698-6580 or Silent Observer at 774-2345.