MEDFORD, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) — A gunman shot four people inside a pharmacy in a New York suburb Sunday morning, killing everyone inside the store in what police said looked like a robbery gone wrong.

The massacre happened at about 10:20 a.m. inside a family-owned pharmacy in a small cluster of medical offices in Medford, a middle-class hamlet on Long Island about 60 miles east of New York City.

Police rushed to the scene after getting a 911 call from someone in the pharmacy’s parking lot. When they arrived, they found two employees and two customers dead, said Suffolk County Police Department’s Chief of Detectives, Dominick Varrone. No one inside the shop survived.

1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney has the latest on the shooting.

The victims were identified as employees Raymond Ferguson, 45, of Centereach, and Jennifer Mejia, 17, of East Patchogue, and customers Bryon Sheffield, 71, of Medford, and Jamie Taccetta, 33, of Farmingville.

Police said surveillance cameras captured these images of the suspect in the fatal shooting of four people at a Long Island pharmacy. (Credit: Suffolk County Police)

The pharmacy, Haven Drugs, had opened for business at 10 a.m., and Varrone said investigators’ initial belief was that a single gunman was responsible for the bloodbath, and that the motive was robbery. Just how the shooting unfolded, and why, were unclear, he said.

A call left for the man listed in state records as the pharmacy’s owner and chief pharmacist, Vinoda Kudchadkar, wasn’t immediately returned.

Police had the streets around the pharmacy blocked off with crime tape. Officers could be seen scanning the ground for evidence, and as of late afternoon the bodies had yet to be removed.

News of the shootings stunned neighbors, who said they heard the commotion after police arrived, but saw nothing of the crime.

“It’s absolutely crazy. There are no words,” said Scott Radice, who lives four houses up the street from Haven Drugs and said he has been a customer for 15 years. “I’m hoping they had cameras in the pharmacy so they can catch this guy.”

“This is a family business. Everyone goes there. It is our neighborhood pharmacy,” said neighbor Kathy Culhane. “If you had a problem with prescriptions, he’d go to bat for you,” she said of the owner, who wasn’t at the pharmacy when the shooting happened.

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola speaks to Suffolk County Police Spokeswoman Miros Kroupa.

The suspect, who stole prescription drugs from the store, is described as a white man with a thin build, approximately 5’8″ tall, who was unshaven or had a dark beard and mustache and short, dark hair. He was last seen wearing a white baseball hat, sunglasses, a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, dark shoes and was carrying a black backpack. He fled on foot, headed eastbound on Southaven Avenue.

Police said the suspect was armed with a handgun and should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Detectives asked anyone with information to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (15)
  1. EP says:

    This is the reason all citizens should learn to carry and maintain self defense firearms. The likelihood of a maniac feeling empowered by a gun will directly decrease if there is a good chance someone can return equal fire.

    1. Cait says:

      Possibly. Or, a massive shoot-out would occur. I’m the victim of a violent crime that was committed at gunpoint, and I can assure you that my having a gun on me would absolutely NOT have prevented it. I don’t think there’s an easy answer, certainly not putting more guns into a society that clearly cannot be responsible with them.

  2. nodoubt says:

    Overdose while you can.

  3. Ms.Victoria Mary Stong says:

    My deepest condolences go out to the Families of victims; Raymond Ferguson of Centereach, Jennifer Mejia of East Patchogue, Bryon Sheffield of Medford, and Jamie Taccetta of Farmingville. I pray you get all the love and support from God and the Community that you all need to struggle through this most horrible event in your lives. Just know that you’ll ALWAYS have all those great memories you shared with your loved ones you have lost. They are now looking down on you with much love and with the pain of seeing you hurt, so cheer up a little. You know the Community and the Police are hunting down the lowlife coward that did this and we WILL get him soon!! God bless all of you too who are taking part in the search for this murderer of so many wonderful people. ~~~~~~~Respectfully and Sincerely, Ms. Victoria Mary Stong / Formerly from Bellport Village and now living in Long Island City, New York.

  4. a name. says:

    This piece of useless flesh needs to rot in a cell while being raped daily.

  5. Jerry says:

    Unfortunately……….this is the coldblooded world we live in,,,,,far too many drug users,lazy low lifes who place no value on theirs or anyone elses life.

    They blame all but themselves for their miserable lives,fill their blood with alcohol, pain killers, drugs of any kind just to stay alive one more day.
    This is the extent of what they call existence.

    We are falling dramatically in the world order in education, now this is what we have roaming the streets in the thousands due to it. We act as if it is normal then react with surprise & horror when terrible things happen due to it???

    Can we reverse this trend???
    With the like of our spineless,perverted unconcerned politicians whose only real care is their own big salaries pensions and perks the answer is no!

    Look forward to much more of the same only worse.

    1. Allen says:

      No doubt!

    2. says:

      psychedelics will fix earth humans

  6. Robert says:

    Senseless loss of life by what is most is most likely a pill popping junkie with a gun seeking drugs. How much life has to be lost before Suffolk county authorities wake up and let good law abiding citizens carry hand guns legally? If someone at this pharmacy had a hand gun this might have had a very different ending.

  7. Geneva Bayette says:

    I do hope the police are keeping silent on the murderers description
    because the know him or her and can find them.maybe someone called
    them with a tip?
    If not .I think there is no excuse to withhold a description unless there
    is none no witnesses and a great disguise.
    In any event this is horrible to think one can kill in cold blood.

  8. JasonS says:

    Almost 12 hours after the killings of 4 people in a neighborhood pharmacy, the killer still on the loose, and yet STILL the cops have not found it upon themselves to release a description of the perp. How incompetent is this? The cops just get worse and worse every year, what a bunch of fools. They either have something on camera, or given that they know that the killer had a backpack, someone must have seen him in some form or other. Yet no description, not even an approximate height or a description of clothing. This is a public safety issue, too bad Long Island cops are some of the most incompetent and complacent in the US.

    1. Jeffrery L says:

      This is why atleast one employee who work in a store should be able to carry a gun while on shift,so at all times theres someone armed in case this happens.I feel bad for the family now a 6 year old has no mother.Very sad. On it shows the perp

  9. thor's hammer says:

    to the thug responsible for the murder of 4 innocent people: be afraid, be very afraid. there is no place on this earth for the likes of you. there is no excuse, so have your family spare us the nonsense of you were a good boy and the drugs took you over. when you are caught, and you will be, you deserve nothing but a miserable end. not a quick intravenous and a few short breaths before the inferno. the native peoples knew how to punish transgressors. justice for the victims. condolences to to families of the victims.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to the victims’ families. This is a senseless act of violence. I pray they find and punish the murderer.

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