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Santa Monica Bookstore Slaying Suspect Sought


Santa Monica police continued to search Saturday for the killer of a bookstore manager gunned down in a hold-up during business hours Friday night.

Michael K. Nagel, who had been promoted recently to run Super Crown Books on Wilshire Boulevard at Harvard Street, was shot shortly before 8:45 p.m., authorities said Saturday.

Details of the crime remained sketchy.

The assailants had fled by the time the Santa Monica police's special entry team arrived, Sgt. Harry Kutbaugh said.

At least 14 employees and customers were in the store when the shots were fired, Kutbaugh said.

He said an officer on Wilshire Boulevard saw people running from the store and waving at him.

Inside, authorities found the victim on the floor in the rear of the premises, Kutbaugh said.

"We've never had anything like this happen to us," said Marin Ein, a spokeswoman for Crown, one of the nation's leading booksellers operating 172 stores nationwide.

"Crown Books Corp., its management and associates throughout the United States are profoundly saddened by the senseless act of violence that last night claimed the life of Michael K. Nagel."

Ein said the bookseller will establish a reward to help apprehend the suspect or suspects. Crown made available grief counselors to help the employees.

Nagel, who was single, had worked for Crown for about a year, Ein said.

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