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Gunshot Victim Makes a Futile Drive for Help : Crime: Van Nuys man, 61, reaches hospital but dies after emergency surgery. Police have no suspect in supermarket parking lot shooting.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 61-year-old Van Nuys man who was shot during a confrontation outside a supermarket drove 2 1/2 miles to a hospital but died after emergency surgery, Los Angeles police said Thursday.

There was no suspect or motive in the slaying of Clarage R. Kingsmore, and investigators said they had found few witnesses who could help piece together what happened at about 9 p.m. Wednesday outside the Hughes Market in the 14400 block of Burbank Boulevard.

Detective James Vojtecky said Kingsmore, who was to retire in a few months after 32 years as a manager at a Bendix Corp. office in Sylmar, had gone to the Hughes Market at about 8:30 p.m.

After buying groceries, the victim walked back to his white 1987 Cadillac DeVille. Before getting into the car he was shot in the upper body by a gunman who fired at least twice at him, Vojtecky said.

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Kingsmore managed to drive to Valley Presbyterian Hospital where he died at 12:15 a.m. Thursday. The victim apparently didn’t ask anyone in the store parking lot for help, and though some witnesses told officers they heard shots, the shooting was not reported to police until Kingsmore arrived at the hospital.

Vojtecky said detectives were unable to talk to Kingsmore before his death. The victim’s wallet was not missing, but police have not ruled out attempted robbery.

“He was coming out of the store, he had a nice car, it could have been an attempted robbery,” Vojtecky said.

Police believe there were cars and shoppers at the market at the time of the slaying and asked that anyone who saw or heard anything to contact detectives.

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