Bar owner, KC community icon who was shot to death remembered for helping others

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A businessman and icon in the Prospect community was killed over the weekend. Eighty-three-year-old James Townsend, the owner of the Green Duck, was found Saturday morning near his home, the victim of a shooting.

Townsend is the second owner of the Green Duck who was killed; forty years ago, civil rights activist and Green Duck owner Leon Jordan was killed at the club.

People who knew Townsend asked why someone would kill an 83-year-old man. Townsend is described as a man who always provided a helping hand and greeted patrons with open arms. Throughout much of the day Monday, people poured into the tavern to reminisce about Townsend’s life and their loss.

“He did a lot for people in the neighborhood,” said Sydney Kye, a Green Duck patron.

James King says Townsend was instrumental with helping out food and clothing drives.

“When they have clothes drives and food drives for the community he would drop off boxes of clothes and coats,” said King, a barber shop owner.

King says Townsend should’ve died of old age and not from a bullet.

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