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Independence insurance agent employee shot during robbery

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INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A woman was shot during an armed robbery Wednesday afternoon at an Independence insurance agency, and police are searching for the gunman.

The woman was shot in the leg, and was still in the hospital on Thursday. The woman, who KCTV5 is not identifying because the gunman is still on the loose, will recover from the gunshot wound but remains quite shaken about the terrifying experience.

"I thought he was going to kill me," the woman said.

The woman and a co-worker were at the Dingledine Insurance Group,which is in the 16000 block of 23rd Street. This is just west of 23rd and Highway 291.

The shooting happened at 1:59 p.m. The man apparently entered the agency and pretended to be seeking insurance.

The woman was exiting the restroom when she heard the man talking to her co-worker.

"He pointed the gun at me. He was flashing the gun back and forth at me," she said.

The man held out plastic grocery bags and demanded that the two women put their purses in them along with the petty cash in the office.

"I told him he could have anything," she said.

While the Independence police spokeswoman said the woman refused to hand over her purse, the injured woman adamantly denied that. She said she quickly agreed to his demands.

"I'll give you everything, anything," she recalled telling him. "Please don't kill me. I have a daughter. I thought he was going to kill me."

When she went to get her purse, the man screamed at her and ordered her to sit down. The whole time he was yelling at her, giving contradictory orders and threatening their lives.

"That's when I decided to run. I thought I was dead. I just wanted out of there. I felt like I was going to die," she said. "He kept saying, 'I will kill you.' I made a split second decision. I just didn't know what to do. In my heart, I thought he was going to kill me."

As the woman ran out the door, the man fired a bullet, striking the woman in the leg.

As blood squirted down her leg, she ran a zig-zag pattern to prevent the man hitting her when he apparently fired a second gunshot.

"I was screaming bloody murder," she said.

She ran to a nearby home for aid. Her co-worker sprinted out the back door and ran to a house in an opposite direction for help.

The man ran from the scene. He was last seen near 23rd and Trail Ridge.

Businesses in this area include a stereo store, a hamburger shop, a grocery store, a jewelry store and convenience stores.

Officers went to the nearby State Farm but employees there said the man had not been to that agency.

The suspect is described as a black man who is about 6' tall. He had a speech impediment and a shirt with an "Allergan" logo on it, according to the Independence Police Department.

As the woman recovers, she remains rattled and just wants the man caught. If you have any information, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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