Spilled pills
Four people died in Long Island during a prescription pill robbery. Image: anolob/Flickr/CC BY

An unemployed army veteran and his wife were arrested Wednesday for the pharmacy robbery on Father’s Day at a Long Island pharmacy. Four people were shot dead in the robbery, execution-style, leaving the community stunned.

Formal charges made Wednesday

David Laffer, 33, and his wife, Melinda Brady, 29, were formally charged Wednesday evening. Laffer has been charged with first degree murder and resisting arrest. Brady has been charged with third-degree robbery. She is believed to have been driving the getaway car. She has also been charged with obstructing governmental administration for trying to impede the officers in the arrest. Both are set to be arraigned Thursday at the First District Court in Central Islip.

Only drugs were taken

Laffer wore a fake beard, a hat and sunglasses to conceal his identity during the robbery, police sources said. It is believed that he used his own legally registered .45 caliber handgun in the cold-blooded shootings. Laffer allegedly stole more than 10,000 hydrocodone pills, a synthetic opiate pain killer. No cash was taken. Police have not revealed whether they have recovered the gun or any of the drugs.

Victims identified

The victims of the shootings have been identified as employees Raymond Ferguson, 45, and Jennifer Mejia, 17. Two customers were also killed, Bryon Sheffield, 71, and Jamie Taccetta, 33.

‘Something must have made him snap’

Laffer and Brady returned to their normal routine lives after the robbery and shootings. Laffer, considered friendly and polite by most of his neighbors, was seen doing yard work as if nothing had changed. A neighbor, Trish Bohlert, who attended the couple’s wedding, said, “Something must have made him snap because his personality — I can’t picture him robbing a store, much less hurt people.”

Shooter had lost his job

Laffer graduated in 1995 from  Patchogue High School and joined the army before he was 18. He served eight years and rose to the rank of private first class. Until two weeks before the robbery he had been working for a distribution company, COSA Xentaur Instrument Corp. He was fired after being accused of stealing from a co-worker.

Police raid the home

The arrest came about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the end of a three-day investigation. Police sources say they got their leads from phone tips and fingerprints at the scene of the crime.¬† Laffer’s name was also part of an ongoing investigation into prescription drug abuse. As many as 40 officers stormed into the Medford house the couple shared with Laffer’s mother. Helicopters were hovering overhead. Laffer fought back and was removed from the house, bloody and in handcuffs.

“He was doing it because he lost his job and I was sick,” Brady said to reporters. “I’m sorry that he did all this.” When asked if he was a drug abuser, Laffer shook his head and mumbled in the negative.


CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20073603-504083.html

Newsday: http://www.newsday.com/news/breaking/david-laffer-charged-with-murder-1.2975975

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/23/david-laffer-arrested_n_882785.html

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