Memorial Day Getaway: Check Traffic | Transit | Forecast | Events

Suffolk Police Getting Plenty Of Tips In Search For Medford Pharmacy Gunman

Victim's Mom Vows: 'We Are Going To Get You And Justice Is Going To Be Done'

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Candles still burn outside Haven Drugs Pharmacy on Long Island as friends, family and even strangers mourned the loss of four innocent victims gunned down in cold blood on Sunday.

The community in Medford is on edge knowing the drug-crazed killer is still on the loose.

“It’s very alarming that he’s still out there. He needs to be caught and brought to justice and face what he did and face these families,” Medford resident Marlene Giusti told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

However, the public has been doing its part in trying to help Suffolk County police with the manhunt for the suspected killer.

Police are offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman. He’s described as a 5-foot-8 white man with a thin build, who was last unshaven.

The phones haven’t stopped ringing at Suffolk Crime Stoppers.  The commander of the unit, Lt. Bob Donohue, said the response from the public was the biggest since the Gilgo Beach killings came to light.

Police Have Been Getting Plenty Of Tips From The Public. 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Reports.

“We’ve been extremely busy since Sunday. We received over 250 calls, we’re still receiving calls,” Donohue told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

The shooting victims included 17-year-old Jennifer Mejia, a high school senior, 45-year-old pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, and customers Bryon Sheffield, 71, and Jamie Taccetta, 33.  The four victims all lived within a few miles of the pharmacy.

Mejia, a pharmacy assistant, was set to attend prom and graduate from Bellport High School this week. A wake for her will be held Wednesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Robertaccio Funeral Home in Patchogue.

medford pharmacy shooting victims Suffolk Police Getting Plenty Of Tips In Search For Medford Pharmacy Gunman

Medford Pharmacy Shooting Victims (credit: CBS 2)


Ralph Taccetta called his daughter’s alleged killer a “coward” and a “punk.” He said he believes if the suspect is arrested, he should get the death penalty.

Speaking with 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria, Taccetta said his daughter had big plans for the rest of her life.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Speaks With The Family Of Victim Jamie Taccetta

“[She was] getting married in October. We had a wedding dress picked out. It’s at my home. We had set up the wedding hall, kids’ dresses, you know, all of that,” he said.

Taccetta’s tearful mother, Patricia, told reporters “there was no reason” to shoot the innocent bystanders in the pharmacy.

“We’re going to get you. We’re going to get you and justice is going to be done. It was so senseless. He could have stole the drugs and left everybody alone,” she said.

“There’s no excuse for killing four people. There’s no excuse for having an addiction. If you have problems, you got to get them worked out the right way and taking four innocent lives is…he’s just as bad as the Taliban,” Taccetta’s cousin, John Brown, said.

Jamie Taccetta ran into the pharmacy Sunday while her fiance waited outside. He grew worried, went in to check, and discovered the massacre.

“She just ran in here, you know, it was like a couple of seconds. She just ran in to get some medication and that was it,” Ralph Taccetta said.

A family friend described Taccetta’s fiancee as being on the brink of collapse after witnessing the aftermath and knowing that he was perhaps steps away from potentially stopping the shooting.


The massacre in Medford also has area pharmacists fearful and their customers concerned.

Police said they were speaking with local doctors and pharmacists to determine if they might know who the suspect is.  That is because investigators believe the killer is a prescription drug addict.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said Monday that the victims “offered no resistance” and “did not appear to provoke the assailant.” He also went on to state that authorities believe the suspect to be “armed and dangerous.”

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs: Pharmacists Are On Edge

West Babylon pharmacist Howard Levine has been robbed twice in recent months.  In one incident, three of his workers were tied up.

“I can see in someone’s eyes, that feeling of desperation and that willingness to do whatever it takes,” Levine told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Levine said that two of those employees couldn’t come back to work because they were permanently traumatized by the incident.

The demand for black market painkillers is also skyrocketing. The Drug Enforcement Administration said pharmacy break-ins in the city and its suburbs jumped 125 percent last year.

Please offer your thoughts on this shocking crime in our comments section below…


One Comment

  1. badwitness says:

    and there you go, “Truth”, your guess was wrong, just as I stated. NOT Hispanic. Plain old white veteran from the good old USA. COuld have been anybody’s neighbor! So, what is the solution now? Help keep all veterans occupied so they don’t get in trouble? Stop sending people out to war? Evil is evil and there is no curing that.

  2. wake up america! says:

    As it turns out, This case was not even about drug addiction. It doesn’t matter, I wouldn’t let anyone decide my fate, just because they have a mental defect. Carrying concealed would of stopped him.

    1. badwitness says:

      how do you know it was not about drug addiction? 10,000 hydrocodone pills were taken, how is that not addiction related?

  3. bonnie says:

    Im in virginia and this stuff is happening here…pharmacies being robbed, people being held up…what is going on in this country, what a sick society. My prayers go out to these family members. Horiffic story. When they find him, NO mercy for this fool, not even bread or water…fry him good, he deserves no compassion what so ever. He’s a lowlife loser, if allowed out will only be a menace to society once again.

  4. ColumboRules says:

    I doubt that this guy killed four people for painkillers. That’s really weird. And he walked away with anything else—no money or jewels. This was a “HIT.” Now, who was the target? My guess was that it was either the pharmacist or the old guy. Where’s Columbo when you really need him?

  5. Jack Webb says:

    Amazing how everyone has answers who was not there about
    what they would do if they were armed or also on the floor frightened
    to death of what was in store for them.

    1. Robert says:

      I don’t know anything about having a gun…but, I KNOW what I would do if God forbid I was ever put into that situation….just like Flight 93….I’m not going without a fight.

  6. KPMc says:

    So when is this all-encompassing ‘war’ on drugs going to target the pharmaceutical companies that have vilified those that smoke a little pot yet have turned middle class people into pill-popping zombies.

    It may not be as easy to spot as a crack epidemic but believe me the number of people swallowing pain killers (mostly white middle class) is astronomical.

    Second on the list is the ‘happy’ drugs. Used to be you had a bad day you plug through and got through it. Now everyone needs an anti-dperessant because the sky is a little cloudy.

    At first the double standard was laughable… now it is downright dangerous!

  7. mike says:

    this is what is wrong with our city, and the rest of the country. our mega rich mayor worries about someone smoking at the beach and spending thousands of dollars on anti-cigarette ads, where is the attention on drug addiction?? when are our politicians going to acknowledge that prescription drugs are a huge problem in our neighborhoods? i cant imagine a chain smoker killing 4 innocent people for a pack of smokes, but i can see a drug addict kill at a moments notice.i agree with some of the posts, if you want to be an addict…then be an addict but when you infringe on other innocent lives and take innocent lives bc you need a fix, then you need to be standing in front of a firing squad and permanently removed from society, how is that for democracy.

  8. wake up america! says:

    No one, no laws and no systems are responsible for this guys actions. This will continue to happen, unless u fight fire with fire. Allow any person with good record to obtain a concealed (not open carry, like the wild west) with good training in handling it ,avoiding situations, only using the gun if they have lossed control of a situation and their life is threatened. When criminals know that anyone of us carry concealed, they will think twice and if they decide to commit the crime, they will be stopped! They cops cant be there all the time, so it’s our right to defend ourselves, when the government cant @ d time.

    1. KPMc says:

      “only using the gun if they have lossed control of a situation and their life is threatened”

      Isn’t that a subjective thing? At what point is ‘control’ lost?

      “When criminals know that anyone of us carry concealed, they will think twice and if they decide to commit the crime”

      Or they will be just that much quicker to use their own deadly force.

      I get the feeling you are NOT from NYS but one of the western/southern states that already has liberal carry laws.

      Why don’t you respect our states sovereignty and right to make our own laws and we’ll try to do the same as your politicians get gunned down by wackos.

    2. badwitness says:

      “When criminals know that anyone of us carry concealed, they will think twice and if they decide to commit the crime, they will be stopped!” you hope. By the same token, if they know a gun could be in anyone’s hands, they might fire first and then rob you. No one knows what will stop these degenerates or how they think. Everyone is just guessing and venting! Show studies and research results where crime has gone down in areas where everyone could be carrying a weapon and I will believe you are right.

  9. CA says:

    Just want to say that my heart goes out to the families of all 4 victims!!
    Ray, you will be missed by everyone who new you!!! Your big heart and big smile will never be forgotten!!

    1. d says:

      My heart aches for the families and I hope their pain will ease knowing that we care
      and I will pray for them. A fellow pharmacist.

  10. Lars says:

    Someone must know him. Someone must know where he is hiding unless he is living in the woods. They need to turn this skell in. Hopefully the police are checking all medford area woods, abandoned buildings, etc. He must be caught asap. I have family in that area and certainly dont need this sicko inflicting further pain.

  11. DeeSkyzz says:

    In the days before the Harrison Drug Act, this guy would have been able to walk in to the store with nothing but a half dollar and walked out with a big bottle of morphine or heroin – no questions asked. You never heard of “Wild Bill Dope-fiend” storming into Sam’s General Store with sixguns a-blazin’ because he was after a few bottles of “Dr. Thompson’s Celebrated Pain Eradicator”….. This was my pharmacy, and it was the BEST pharmacy! These were the nicest people you could imagine, you never had to wait more than a few minutes, and they always had what you needed. My heart and prayers go out to all the families of the victims and the community as a whole. These decent, hardworking folks are just the latest victims of the “WAR on drugs”. The lawmakers in this country think that making the drugs harder to get will solve the problem when it fact, it only creates more crime! If the drugs were easier for this addict to get his hands on, Jenny, Ray, and the others would still be with us! The guy completely ignored the cash in the register! The increase in pharmacy robberies is a direct result of the increasingly stringent policies regulating opiates in particular. I might also mention the fact that making the painkillers more difficult to obtain just supports the illegal Heroin trade. I hope most should know that this is one of the major ways the Arab terrorist organizations (who we are also at war with) raise revenue to support their evil endeavors. Since they began to crack down on opiate painkillers, there has been a HUGE surge of heroin use here on Long Island. The street price of an oxycodone pill has nearly tripled. Pharmacy robberies are becoming more and more common. Think about it people! Until we stop treating drug addiction as a criminal problem and begin treating it as the MEDICAL problem it truly is, these kinds of crimes are only going to keep happening. Sad but true. This country’s inane and backwards drug policies need to be seriously reconsidered! What – are they afraid of closing down all the EMPTY jails if they legalize drugs? All the cops and DEA agents losing their jobs? Too bad! The government should have no say in what we choose to put in our bodies. This is supposedly a “free country” – if you don’t want to become an addict, then don’t abuse drugs! If you want to – then go right ahead – its your life….Bottom line! Education is the key to the prevention of new addicts, but that always seems to be the first thing to get slashed when things get tight…..Oh what a mess this “WAR on drugs” has created. It is truly just a WAR on the AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!

  12. Devenio says:

    He will never be caught.

    1. lars says:

      I disagree. He is not right in the head and will soon be caught. Think about it.

      1. Just a hunch says:

        He’ll probably kill himself, if he hasn’t already.

  13. Jose matienzo says:

    The big truth race ethnicity is not the case… I say it all the time our health system has to be reformed…Doctors & pharmacy co. they are all in bed together and they resolve everything by giving you all types of pills to hide the pain.. Instead of treating it and stopping the pain.. Thats how people become addicted because they are highly addictive medications..Then people do tragedies like this to resolve there addiction…Now he is a criminal and murderer…Lets talk about who got him to this point…

  14. Truth says:

    First off, he might be white or light skinned but he looks spanish to me. Doesn’t matter what race he is, he’s a desperate crazy drug addicted killer that needs to be caught.

    1. Robert says:

      Once he had them on the floor, he could of just took the drugs and made his getaway……I just don’t see why he killed them…it’s more than senseless….it makes no sense.

    2. badwitness says:

      UNLESS YOU ARE HISPANIC, you are not able to make that determination. Even I, as hispanic descent don’t always get it right. People of the same race are more likely to correctly identify members of their own race. I do not see the hispanic in this guy (outside pic). He could be Italian, Pakistani, etc., in addition to hispanic. From the pic’s angle, it is hard to tell. So, unless you saw him yourself face to face, and you are hispanic, you will not make a good witness. Lay off the classification. Studies have demonstrated that we do not make good eyewitnesses of events.

  15. Wake up america says:

    Stop saying it’s heartless, senseless! Criminals will never play by the rules! This message is for all the law abiding citizens, Mayor, NYPD and Albany,NY: Legalize and encourage and educate on concealed hand guns and prevent innocent citizens from being sitting ducks in crimes like these.( remember the gunman who went into a jewish church, but was stopped by an regular clothes security guard) This is a wake up call!!!!!

  16. LG says:

    I can’t believe that Suffolk County Police hasn’t caught this beast yet!!! These cops are among the best paid cops in the country…for what? To race their high speed cruisers up and down the L.I.E.?

    1. bronson says:

      They don’t patrol the L.I.E. The Sheriff does. And , by the way Suffolk Police WILL apprehend this dirt bag. Now go back to watching Jerry Springer.

    2. TJ says:

      Yes! You are exactly correct.

    3. badwitness says:

      they are still on the LIE? I guess the sheriff can take over their investigation. they might do better.

  17. Angela says:

    this piece of garbage looks like the one who held up the banks in New York on Friday. Did the police notice that

  18. John Q. Public says:

    Why didn’t enforcement officials state the race of the perp when clearly the video footage shows that he’s a white male? Instead they gave a vague description and left it up to the imagination of the racist court of public opinion to assume he was a black male.

    1. Read The Copy says:

      He’s described as a white man, standing 5’8″, unshaven and with a thin build.

      1. Robert says:

        There is something phony about the way this guy looks…I think that’s a rubber mask. A druggie didn’t take any money??? Doesn’t that seem odd. I have a feeling that when this case is solved it’ll be somebody who wanted to knock off one of these people and make it look like a robbery gone sour….they didn’t resist yet he killed them…why? Because he didn’t want to be ID’ed..but, the video contradicts the basic motive. A lot here doesn’t make sense.

      2. John Q. Public says:

        I wasn’t commenting on this particular article. I was commenting on the article that appeared on Yahoo news that gave the vague description of the perp. Thank you very much but I can read and I can see where clearly the perp is a white male. Which is what prompted me to make my comment.

    2. Richard D says:

      Must You always flip the race card? Perhaps you should be concerned for the dead. What race are they? Does it matter? No! Shut up already.

      1. John Q. Public says:

        “Flip the race card my @ $ $ ! Whenever anyone points out the double standard in reporting the news some troglodyte yells foul. Get over it!

    3. MikeD says:

      Then state you read that in yahoo yoy YAHOO!

    4. James says:

      Well umm, I mean, what I meant to say, well, I was commenting on, umm, I read in a Yahoo article… Lol no what you said was “Why didn’t enforcement officials state the race of the perp” when we all know that “enforcement officials” have stated several times that they believe the perp is white. You tried to make the police look racist and ended up only making yourself look foolish. Next time read the article before commenting. If you have something to say about a Yahoo article, say it on the Yahoo comments section or say that Yahoo news isn’t releasing the race of the perp. Don’t say that “enforcement officials” are refusing to release the race when clearly they have released that info several times.

    5. TYRONE JACKSON says:

      John Q., why is the man’s race so important to you? And the fact that a SPECIFIC news organization neglected to mention his race is meaningless since the same is very often the case when the perp is black.

      Leave the race talk to the racists, unless of course …

    6. sportythief says:


  19. cctv says:

    It’s an absolute shame. Surely, this man will serve justice with the hard evidence that the police have obtained.

  20. Robert says:

    “Offered no resistance?!?!”…I’ll tell you right now..if some low-life druggie orders me on the floor…and I hear a shot…I’m NOT waiting to join the other victims, I’m taking ACTION.

    1. John says:

      I TOTALLY agree with you!!!

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE