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.
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.
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