MEDFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man and woman have been arrested in connection with Sunday’s execution-style murders at a Medford pharmacy that shocked the Tri-State Area and left four people dead.

Suffolk County Police arrested 33-year-old David Laffer Wednesday morning and have charged him with 1st degree murder and resisting arrest.  Laffer will be held overnight and is schedule to be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Laffer’s wife — 29-year-old Melinda Brady — was also arrested for 3rd degree robbery for what authorities called “her involvement in the robbery.”  She was also charged with obstructing governmental administration.  She is also scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan also learned late Wednesday night that Laffer’s wife was allegedly driving the getaway car.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell With More On The Arrest

Police have scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference at Suffolk County Police headquarters Thursday to provide further details on the arrests.

Police removed Laffer and his wife from their home at 30 Pitchpine Place in Medford at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy released a statement saying the police department had “swiftly and safely” brought the suspect into custody.

Medford Pharmacy Shooting Victims (credit: CBS 2)

“It is my hope that the families of those felled this past Sunday may draw a modicum of comfort in knowing that the authorities acted with laser focus to remove from the streets a suspect related to these horrible, despicable crimes,” Levy’s statement read.

Next-door neighbor Peter Spano said he saw Laffer being taken into custody. The home had apparently been under police surveillance since Tuesday.

“It looked just like him except without the beard. The guy doesn’t weigh more than 90 pounds wet.  His head was down, he was beat down — looked like somebody who was beat down,” Spano told D’Auria.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Speaks With A Neighbor Who Witnessed Laffer Being Led Away In Handcuffs

As many as 40 law enforcement officials entered the home Wednesday morning, which is about a half mile from Haven Pharmacy, where the massacre occurred.

“They went right up to the front door and when they got to to the front door…within seconds, they had the door open, they had the guy in ‘cuffs, they had him on his way out and they had the perimeter totally surrounded,” Spano told McLogan. “It was just so unbelievable.  It was like an orchestra, it was incredible.”

A wedding announcement of Melinda Brady & David Laffer appeared in the New York Daily News on Jan. 11, 2009. According to the announcement, Laffer works in “logistics shipping and receiving.”

Laffer was a hockey enthusiast and proposed to his wife at an Islanders game in 2006, popping the question on the JumboTron for everyone to see.  Trish Bohlert was at the couple’s wedding.

“He used to play with his nieces and nephews in the street over here,” Bohlert said, “just a very nice guy.”

Defense Department officials also confirmed to CBS 2 that Laffer spent time in the military as a reservist in the Bronx.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports: Neighbors Say They’re Shocked

Among those who rushed to the chaotic scene was the eldest daughter of victim Jamie Taccetta. Miranda Taccetta, 16,  said that she came to the scene looking for closure.  Taccetta’s grandmother arrived on the scene and was shaking as she delivered a message to the man who killed her granddaughter.

“You’re the devil and God always wins out,” she said. “Your day will come.”

(Credit: Suffolk County Police)

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs: The Suspect’s Neighbors Are In Disbelief

Area residents seemed to be stunned by the police activity, and the possibility that a killer may have lived next door.

“He seemed like a nice guy. I didn’t think he’d do something like this. He didn’t seem like a drug addict or nothing like that,” Schwartz told McLogan. “It’s just unbelievable; it’s too close to home.”

The break in the case came on the same day as grieving friends and family members were saying goodbye to the victims.

A woman leaves flowers for the victims outside the Haven Drugs pharmacy. (credit: Mona Rivera, 1010 WINS)

Pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, 45, Jennifer Mejia, 17, and customers Bryon Sheffield, 71, and the 33-year-old Taccetta were shot execution-style at the Medford pharmacy. The gunman then picked up prescription drugs and calmly walked out.

Mejia was supposed to attend her senior prom Wednesday night before graduating from Bellport High School in Brookhaven Thursday. Instead, her wake was held in Patchogue.

Walking out of the funeral home in his prom tuxedo, one of Mejia’s classmates wiped away tears knowing his friend will not be at the prom.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports From The Mejia Wake In Patchogue

“It’s going to be tough.  I mean, we’ll remember her. I’m not going to forget her. She’s a great friend and I am going to miss her,” Reynado Altamara told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

“It’s a weird feeling knowing that…he was around us, you know?  I’m glad he was stupid enough to stay around,” Jossalyn Mejia, a classmate of Jennifer’s, told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

“Even if we didn’t know her, it’s like hard to believe.  We went to school with someone and they’re gone and we won’t see them again,” Kwana Harris, another classmate, said.

A portrait of Mejia, who would have graduated on Thursday, was signed at the dance and will be presented to her family.

“It hurts, it’s not easy, but like I said we’re doing everything for her family,” Assistant Principal Brian Norton said.

Relatives and friends of Ferguson gathered to mourn their loss as well.

“He was my collegaue and my friend. He was just a real class act. He’s the type of person who you felt honored to be friends with,” Margaret Tsopanarais said.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall With Mourners At Haven Drugs

A makeshift memorial at Haven Drugs - Medford, NY - Jun 22, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

A makeshift memorial at Haven Drugs – Medford, NY – Jun 22, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

At the scene of the crime, people were dropping off flowers for the victims and saying how relieved they were about the possible break in the case.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Reports From Haven Drugs Pharmacy

Samuel Hernandez, who knew Ferguson, said he believes the death penalty — which New York doesn’t have — is appropriate for the crime.

“This guy, he doesn’t deserve to go to jail for life. He deserves to be put to…executed somehow,” he told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

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

Comments (73)
  1. BeaSerious says:

    She is just as guilty. She has always been a liar & a scammer. She used to steal change out of my bag in school for crying out loud. She even says on camera “he did it because i was sick” Do not defend that manipulative girl. She knew EXACTLY what was going on and what she was doing. No way she didn’t know what had happened when he got back in the car either.

    1. lisag says:

      Give them both letal injections, and get rid of the murderous garbage they are!!!

  2. MARIE says:


  3. bullett says:

    A fairy tale romance that has now ended in disaster for all. How very,very sad.

  4. Bell Toller says:

    maybe the wife was forced into this

    1. DeeSkyzz says:

      Oh shut up

    2. BeaSerious says:

      more like the other way around. she probably manipulated him into robbing the place. she’s been like that since middle school-“oh, feel sorry for me, buy me something, give me your stuff”. she made him feel bad for not being able to buy her drugs.

  5. HUGO says:

    Release him and let’s see what happens.

  6. wake up america! says:

    Please allow me to add another 2 cents. In other states, aiding and abetting another person in committing and planning a murder, is just as guilty as the one who actually did it. We know how a mans wife can have a huge impact on a mans decisions. She should also be charged with murder, equally as her husband. Til death due both of them apart.

  7. Larry Schwarz says:

    The Pharmacy should reopen once given the all clear by Police and hire off duty Police to work security during slow times like when this happened.Not to reopen is like giving in to the thugs.

  8. Larry Schwarz says:

    I am sure they would have given up the drugs,The execution of these 4 innocent people is senseless.It is just to bad that he did not give Police an excuse to take him out.If there is a case that calls for The death penalty,this is it.At least a sadistic monster is off the streets.

  9. JCC says:

    The best way to do justice to this looser is to let him live in what he seems to
    call “pain”. he doesnt look he is in pain, if he would’ve been in pain, he were not able to walk, dress, move or look so neat, an even to shot a gun. We have to
    tolerate a certain level of pain, unless is acute.Pain has killled no body, but drugs
    have.God, help this Nation to solve so many problems, and this never happens

  10. Bruce Goldensteinberg says:

    How long until the liberals come out and say he stole the drugs because of his big mean insurance company charging too much for them? And if we all just shut up and accept obamacare, this would not happen?

    1. BOBinNH says:

      How can you possibly turn this into a liberal/conservative thing? I am somewhat liberal and have no inclination to blame anyone but himm and his wife. Go back to watching Fox.

  11. Bruce Goldensteinberg says:

    Execute him now!!! And any liberals or ACLU members who rush to his defense, put them away for a long time, or possibly, send them to hell with the 2 criminals!!

    1. WOODSIDE MIKEYM says:

      How does a lib jew person much like your FEEL THIS WAY…??? ASSHOEL YOU ARE BAD NEWS D-BAG!!!!!!!

      1. nathan says:

        i agree with the death penalty. lets start with mikeym – today.

    2. BOBinNH says:

      You’re just a troll. Get a life loser.

  12. J says:

    I heard someone say that the penalty should be death. It is hard to disagree with that.

  13. Once a Long Islander says:

    Unfortunately, this guy will probably go to a pyscho ward because of our bleeding heart system. If he is not successfull in that, he will most likely be incarcerated in one of our Country Club Prisons’s were you get 3 meals, a cot, a prison b-tch, a free education, no work, TV and card playing all day outside your little cell. I’m all for capitol puishement but only if it is in the form of the same type as the perb murdered his/her victim(s). Prefer going back to the system of punishment at hard labor 6 day a week, 12 hour days, not reehabilitation which is not working at all. I am not for the death penalty in the form as it is today in the USA where it is legal. These murders did not have to happen proving that the criminal does not think like the rest of us and maybe is the type not created by God but by the transgressions man had on the ape and this type of sub-human evolved with a little less brain matter and compassion. Darwin was wrong and many of them live among us.

    1. Larry Schwarz says:

      That is why I wish he would have given Police an excuse to take him out.He should be in a Federal maximum security lockup after conviction,he will suffer there.

  14. princesslove says:

    This hits home to me I lived in coram for 6yrs until recently moving out west. This guy did not have to kill these people take the drugs and go, I can only say maybe he killed them thinking one of them recognized him cause he was a customer there prior but at the same time then why didnt he take the surveillance tape, he was prob 2 messed up to realize. either way him and his wife deserve massive punishment and i dont mean jail, jail is 2 easy 3 meals a day recreation,a bed no that is just crazy, these 2 need to be tortured like the animals they are , treat them how criminals r treated in foreign countries if u steal they cut yr hands off that is what type of abuse they should endure . I hope the families of these poor innocent people can fins some peace. and for all the druggies bottom line dont do drugs, drugs r for weak minded individuals with deep problems go see a therapist you bunch of losers!!!!!!

  15. Babygirl51 says:

    Satan is never short of employee He’s always hiring anyone who want to do WRONG

  16. wake up america! says:

    As it turns out, Drug addiction was not the issue, just a regular guy deciding who should die under his hands. Would you let a person with a mental defect decide your fate? 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! The cops cant be there all the time, so it’s our right to defend ourselves, when the government cant @ d time. Let someone with a good record, take on the responsibilities of protecting the public.

  17. Babygirl51 says:

    He will not die the way you want Him to He will only Die the way His maker SAIDS, you see when He comes down off that high His eyes will see what He has done and then He will ask God for forgiveness and it shell be given to Him and He will live His days out serving God in Prison. so to the families who cannot forgive Him to bad your forgiveness dose not COUNT.

  18. mike steede says:

    Look at that thug ! Fry his punk A$$, teachh em’ a lesson

    1. NYSmike says:

      I hope that if indeed this is the guy, and what with his photo all over the internet and the newspapers, that those who lived around him and new him did the right thing by tipping off the police to his whereabouts. If you didn’t then I wonder how you could not being the photos were pretty clear.

  19. Not enough justice... says:

    I was hoping police would “accidentally” kill him when he was being detained….
    He is a monster and does not deserve to have free housing, clean bed and meals everyday out of tax payer’s money.

  20. John A. says:

    A trial for this man is too good.Perhaps we should revert to the olden days when the guillotine was used-since he lives here in America,he is guaranteed a trial by jury -the jury needs to come to a swift and unaminous guilty verdict,with the punishment being the death penalty.Don’t listen to the bleeding heart liberals who will say that nobody deserves the death penalty-this guy deserves it and he had better be given it!

    1. Jackie H. says:

      I’m not fond of jury duty but I’d volunteer to be on this jury! I’m a resident of Medford for over 20 years and this murderer lived around the block from my home. It’s awful to think this cold blooded killer lived among us.

  21. BABS OMOT DENN says:

    this is a real insanity of love. you cn get things done in the right way and manner. you don’t have to sniff out lives before you can get those drugs. I thinks that guy need to be brought to books.

  22. Johnny Handsome says:

    This have to be more than just an addict needing drugs. There was no need to kill everyone in the place to steal pain killers. I’m sure he saw all the cameras so being identified wasn’t a concern. It seems he was there more to kill than to steal. I don’t think the cops have the right person. I think this was a hit and the hitter will never be found.

    1. Ellen says:

      Johnny, we don’t know the whole story, and yes one is presumed innocent before a trial is even started , but there’s a lot of people who you could never fathom committing horrible crimes. I just bet that there a some people in Florida that never thought for one minute that Casey Anthony would stoop so low as to kill her own child.

      1. Johnny Handsome says:

        Ellen; your are right. However that whole Casey Anthony thing is like a pit of vipers. No one is telling the truth and I’m sure they all know what happened. Mother, Father, Brother – all know what happened.

      2. NO JUSTICE says:

        Maybe Johnny knows something…..

    2. Johnny Handsome says:

      I stand corrected! Big Ups to the Suffolk County PD all those instrumental in apprehending this POS animal.

  23. Dee Tee says:

    If this is the guy who committed the murders, my only regret is that they took him alive. Since there is no death penalty in NY, he’ll live to be an old man at our expense. That’s just not fair!!

  24. shelby says:

    I think the pharmaist may have alreeady had a gun,but didnt have time to get to it.

  25. NEED CHANGE says:

    So much heart break and tragedy. Both for the living and deceased. Even for the shooter as his life will be hell and is over as he knows it. Hopefully some good will come from this where we improve patient programs so that any drug addicted person can access help immediately. Drugs are with us forever. So is the devastation they bring. We need to minimize this by offering assistance adn rehab programs. Prison has proven not to work. In no way is there any excuse for what the shooter did. My only hope is we presvent a future similar tragedy by providing a facility where strung out addicts can get immediate help. My the Good Lord heal the sfamilies of the deceased. May we all wrk together to avoid another massacre like this. AMEN

    1. M says:




    2. Tom G says:

      Well said. This mutt deserves no sympathy. None whatsoever. He deserves nothing but death himself.

    3. nathan says:

      Hey Elephant guess what – you and I agree on this!. One more thing – you’re still an a- hole.

    4. IgnoranteElephante says:

      Nathan, shouldn’t you be asking the moderator to censor posts that you disagree with? After all, that’s what you do on every other post. How dare you demean this specific article with your persistent hate. You constantly spew venomous posts and bash others who disagree with you and label them antisemitic. Although I have never made an anisemitic comment towards you, what if I spoke out against the Jews? I constantly hear you talk about fundamental rights and freedom of expression. I guess those rights you cherish are only applicable when you agree with them and are not offended. God forbid someone say anything against you or your ilk. You’d most certainly cry to the moderator. These freedoms you support are absolute regardless of whether or not you accept them.

      Does it make me an anisemite if I point out that this miscreant murderer was Jewish (he was)? That’s only an observation of fact, but since you don’t like such facts, I’d bet your going to spew more of your offensive rhetoric. Well, go right ahead. It’s your right as much as it is mine, but realize how hypocritical you sound. When you’re ready to play with the big boys and girls without whining people will take you seriously.

    5. IgnoranteElephante says:

      Also, Nathan, not to judge you, but what is up with your recent spate of inappropriate and illicit texts? I understand you’re a proponent of gay marriage, and that’s fine, but we can all do without the visual. This is a family oriented website and forum.

  26. brooklyn4ever says:

    Please say a prayer for Mr. Sheffield, the older gentlemen who was murdered as well as the other 3 innocent lives that were senselessly taken along with his. Mr. Sheffiield is my friends dad and she and her family are in a really bad place right now. Her mom was not dooing well to start with and now this. If there ever was a time for this pansy ass state to bring the Death Penalty back and use it, I think this would be the time. God rest all of their souls.

  27. KERRY says:


  28. DeeSkyzz says:

    This is not the guy. The real killer is still out there. This is not the first person they have picked up either. A million people look like that guy. The cops will arrest anyone right now on the slightest suspicion, just to look like they’re making progress. Don’t think it’s over yet.

    1. DeeSkyzz says:

      Ok so I was wrong. I take it back. Kudos to the SCPD for a job well done – But I think you could have got that right eye a bit blacker – no?

  29. Debra says:

    How can you comment on something so senseless.

  30. Harlem Going HAM says:

    the hell with tax payers footing his bill, just wack him

    1. Ellen says:

      Thanks Jessa for that info. Really interesting and makes you wonder about human nature and all that goes with it. Thanks once again.

    2. M says:

      totally him

  31. allazay says:

    How so sad and senseless,over what? Drugs! The employees would have given them the drugs at the first sight of a gun or other weapon. Life is not worth a darn.

  32. Vincent says:

    he should be caught and kept in a room strapped to a chair and have pieces of his body cut off little by little starting with finger tips and toes this should be done after days of water boarding being done to him

  33. Vinny Q says:

    this is a good reason for the death penalty.

  34. Linda says:

    My prayers go out to the families. There is really nothing you can say that hasn’t been said already… This world we live in has gotten really terrible.

  35. nyc says:

    When New York makes it easier for law abiding citizens to purchase and carry a hand gun, crime will go down. With tens of thousands of ILLEGAL guns on the streets of New York, the police are out gunned and out man’d !! In this situation, if one person was legally armed a life could have been saved !

    1. David says:

      well said. it is time to allow citizens who choose to arm themselves for self protection – the opportunity to responsibly carry. our laws are sufficient and require guns be banned from criminals, lunatics, children and the mentally incompetent.
      It is not the fault of citizens who strongly believe in the second amendment – to accept the consequences of the states lousy implementation of laws designed to ban guns from criminals, children and incompetents. Criminals will NOT OBEY THE LAW by definition. If just 1 in ten decided to carry i would bet that most criminals would be shot dead by strong citizens or terrified to attack in short order.Tough times are coming – and soon. People may find that basic needs wont be met in the new economic reality and criminals will become more brazen. Armed citizens should be able to point their pistol ( the great equalizer) at them and command them to stop – or be shot.

      Sounds like the wild west? you bet. But it beats being terrified to walk in our communities because of the zombie wasteoids that liberals set free with loose drug laws and no death penalty are in complete control. I would rather have the wild west enforcement of some honor – then total chaos and terror.

  36. Regg says:

    That may be the dumbest thing I’ve heard all week! Kill four innocent people because you or someone you love is in pain?!?!?! You really need to get a grip!

    1. Medford Girl says:

      Have you ever been addicted to a drug, a serious drug?

  37. Vonnie says:

    We live on a society where there is mp respect for anyone or anything. With so much hate going around we would rather cut programs than to focus on the hurt, and the sick on mind. What he did was an inforgiven act of downright hate. Don’t hide behind the drugs and make it seem that you have a problem the only problem this man has is the fact that Boone has ever introduced him to the Man. The man who could take all the pain, all bad desires, and could change a heart if only we ask. My prayers fo out the families of those that lost a loves one during this senseless act of violence.

  38. Dee says:

    Ronnie, really?!?! You think that low-life stole the pills for someone else? Because they were legitimately in pain? You must live in La La Land then. Prescription medication abuse is such a serious issue, especially for painkillers. If LEGITIMATE pain or a LEGITIMATE medical situation is that serious or severe, you go to a hospital, that is the reason they are in existance, and where they have a legal obligation to treat you. It is actually laughable that you think he’s a robin-hood of sorts, he is a monster with a serious addiction with no regard for human life, he thought nothing of taking the lives of others, all to pacify his own addiction. What he did was disgraceful, and showed that he is the lowest of the lowlives. My thoughts and prayers go out to the poor victims of this horrible senseless tragedy.

  39. debby says:

    words cannot express my sorrow and anguish for the victims families.please accept my condolences. this tragic incident only highlights the need for tougher gun control.

    1. Deb says:

      debby, really…NY has gun control. Most or all of the criminals have guns and the decent law abiding citizens don’t. That’s what NY calls gun control..

    2. Johnny Handsome says:

      Debbie, NYS has the toughest gun control; laws in the USA. Too bad the laws only stop law abiding citizens from getting guns.

      1. The Facts says:

        Law abiding New York State residents can easily obtain pistol licenses for home and business defense. Full carry licenses, unfortunately, are only granted to people in extraordinary situations. Proposed changes in the Sullivan Law have been constantly blocked by the Democratic Party in the State Assembly controlled by Speaker Sheldon Silver of Manhattan.

  40. t says:

    This is so horrible. The Law is weak. My prayers go out to these people that lost there life. And for the family’s that are in pain.

  41. marge says:

    I know addicts are desparate but not every strung out addict would kill 4 people in cold blood for drugs. I think alot of addicts that get to thius point in their addiction end up severely depressed and commit suicide.

  42. marge says:

    I have so much hatred in me right now. I always get upset when I read about a murder but for some reason this horrible crime has me angry and depressed. I can’t even imagine what the family members are going through right now. This is the one time I feel that if I saw this guy I would be happy to put a bullet through his head. Sorry for the comment but this is how i am feeling right now.

    Also I am disturbed about the award being offered. Why can’t they offer at least 50,000 dolllars? This is such an horrendous crime that it merits this reward amount.

    1. Medford Girl says:

      If I knew it was him I would’ve turned him in for FREE!!!!!! No reward necessary!!!!

  43. Jill says:

    Those pills were for him. He is an addict, visually he is an addict and mentally he is an addict. Addicts have no regard for anyone during their time of need, if the devil tapped him on the shoulder he would sell his soul. This is an outrage, why kill 4 people to get pills? He was already at a advantage over them because he had a gun, but again he is an addict and addicts will kill their own mother to get the high they desire.
    May these people rest in peace, I’m sorry for the family !

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