Armed robbery ends in David Bledsoe’s murder
Hundreds gathered on May 17 to mourn David Bledsoe and reminisce with family and friends.
Bledsoe, 50, was shot and killed May 12, during an armed robbery at Bledsoe’s Rental in Kansas City, Mo., which is owned by his father, Kenneth Bledsoe.
Located on Prospect Ave., Bledsoe’s Rental has been an American Rental Association (ARA) member since 1958. Kenny Bledsoe says whether the business will remain open is up in the air. “I started this shop 66 years ago, when I was 18. David, he started working in the shop when he was 10 years old,” he said.
Kenny also has been responsible for many startup rental stores through his company, Rental Joys. David ran the daily shop operations for the rental store and was the main mechanic.
“He was a jack of all trades,” Kenny said. “He was a really good mechanic, he could fix anything. He helped the neighbors out, fixing their lawn mowers and bicycles. He helped everybody out. He was a good person. He was a great kid. He loved to hunt deer. He’d go out every year and hunt. He was a wonderful person.”
Tom Fouts, owner of Bledsoe Rentals in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Olathe, Kan., said though he is not related to the family, he has worked with David and his family since the early 1970s. “David always had a smile and did his best to take care of us when we came to buy supplies from their rental store supply company, Rental Joys. Along with his parents and brother, David was a key person in the company, both on the Rental Joys side and the rental store. The company was his only job, and to lose a friend and fellow rental professional in such a tragic way is truly heart wrenching.”
Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO, agreed. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their family during this terrible tragedy,” Wehrman said. “ARA mourns the loss of David to the Bledsoe family and his friends within the industry.”
A tribute and photos of David are online at www.floralhillsfuneralhome.com.
To read local media coverage from the Kansas City Star, go to www.kansascity.com. Also, to read the coverage from local TV station KMBC, go to www.kmbc.com. On May 18, three people were arrested and charged with the murder.
Arrests made in Bledsoe murder
Three people were arrested and charged on May 18 for the May 12 murder of David Bledsoe in Kansas City, Mo.
Those charged included Andre Broadus, 29; Anthony Britton, 18; and George Britton Sr., 65. All three were charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts each of armed criminal action. George Britton Sr. is the grandfather of Anthony Britton.
Bledsoe was shot while working at Bledsoe’s Rental at 5025 Prospect in Kansas City. Two men came into the store at about 2:10 p.m. on May 12 and robbed the store at gunpoint.
Police say one of the two gunmen forced one employee to the back of the store to get money. The other gunman stayed up front to guard Bledsoe, who sat in a chair. Police said the gunman misinterpreted Bledsoe putting his hands up as reaching for a gun.
After the shooting, the gunmen fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
Bledsoe ran after them and followed the gunmen in his truck. He pulled over a block later and collapsed. He was taken to the local hospital where he died.
Family told local media that they know the Britton family and that Bledsoe had previously helped the grandfather in the store. David’s brother, Jeff Bledsoe, told the local TV station that they had been customers for years.
“The grandfather was just the nicest guy,” he told the TV station. “I mean we helped him. He would come to us for advice.”
Police found a car matching the description from witnesses in George Britton Sr.’s driveway on May 17. He allegedly picked up the two men after the heist. Court records say Anthony is the one who shot David.
In Missouri, both second-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges are Class A felonies, which carry a maximum sentence of death or life imprisonment. Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 cash bond on each of the three men charged in the case. All three remained in jail as of May 19.