Local comic book store owner shot

Wow. Reading this in the local newspaper this weekend was a bit of a shock:

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.”

I don’t know Dave personally, and I’m not a super-regular customer of his comic store, but I stop by to browse around Apparitions every other month or so. Dave has always seemed like a really nice guy, always asking if I need any help finding something, and not minding that I tend to sit for hours thumbing through his collection of used RPGs.

I can’t imagine why a comic book store, of all places, would stand out as a tempting target for a robbery. And how horrible that such a stupid crime was made even worse when an innocent person got shot.

I hope Dave pulls through. Some of his friends have put together a donation page where you can contribute to help out with his medical costs. From the donation page:

…David is in the hospital and stable, but still severely injured. As you can imagine, no matter how speedy the recovery, getting back to running his business will be challenging. Even normally, running an independent comic book store is an incredibly difficult job, and many retailers often operate with limited or no personal health insurance. Given that retailers are such an important part of our industry, we want to help out as much as possible.

Hang in there, Dave!

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