Wednesday, December 1, 2010

After shooting, restaurant owners deny that Waldo is getting dangerous

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:17 PM

click to enlarge Eric Z. Price survived last night's shooting.
  • Eric Z. Price survived last night's shooting.

Go ahead and say a little prayer to Saint John Bosco -- the patron saint of magicians -- for 38-year-old Eric Price. Price goes by Eric Z. Price on his website, which has a prophetic statement floating around the blue background: "Eric had a premonition yesterday..."

If he did have a premonition, he might have chosen not to work yesterday at Waldo Pizza, where he performs several times a month. Last night, while sitting in his car after his scheduled Tuesday performance, Price was shot in the head.

KCTV Channel 5 reports that three teenagers are in custody,  and Price is expected to recover.

But bullets have been known to scare off customers. Will the neighborhood recover, too?

Waldo has had some high-profile crimes before, including the still-unsolved case of a gay man who was murdered after leaving the old Kennedy's Bar with a stranger.

Phil Bourne, the owner of Waldo Pizza, says crimes like the Price shooting are horrific but don't frighten customers away.

"There's always a lot of talk if things like this happen, but it doesn't seem to affect our volume," Bourne says. "This neighborhood is actually very safe and stable. You have to look on this as a random, isolated incident."

Mike Flaherty, who next week opens a new restaurant, the Taco Factory, next door to Waldo Pizza, at 75th Street and Wornall, says he hadn't heard about the shooting until he stopped in to Kennedy's Bar earlier today and a couple of customers told him about the crime.

"It's a terrible thing," Flaherty says, "but it's so rare for anything like this to happen in Waldo."

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