PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – As David Laffer, accused of murdering four people in cold blood at the Haven Drugs pharmacy in Medford, sits behind bars Friday, the family and friends of one of his alleged victims say farewell to 17-year-old Jennifer Mejia.
With heavy hearts, friends and some family carried the white casket with rose gold trim holding Mejia’s body into Our Lady Of Mount Carmel in Patchogue.
Following close behind were her mother and father, both dressed in black, with their arms around each other.
Mejia’s father had one wish fulfilled Friday – for his daughter’s class of 2011 to show up in their caps and gowns.
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Thursday night, Mejia was remembered at the Bellport High graduation ceremony. Tributes to her were everywhere: on the stage, in the program. Balloons were released to honor her.
Mejia was meant to graduate with her class Thursday. Instead, her parents received her diploma, which was placed beside her casket at a funeral home.
Many of the students at Mejia’s funeral were wearing bracelets that were made by classmates in memory of the 17-year-old. The bracelets were sold at the graduation and proceeds from the sale will be going to Mejia’s family.
“She really brought us all together,” said one student.
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She’ll be buried today in a blue prom dress that she never got the chance to wear.
Bryon Sheffield, 71, is also being buried today in Patchogue.
Sheffield was a customer at the pharmacy. Police have said Sheffield and fellow customer Jaime Taccetta didn’t know what hit them. Laffer allegedly stood near the doorway as they entered and shot them as they walked in, execution-style.
Sheffield leaves behind a wife of 50 years and five grandchildren. Friends and family say he loved to fish, play video games and kid around with his friends.
The funerals for the other two victims – pharmacist Raymond Ferguson and Jamie Taccetta, a single mother of two daughters, will be held Saturday. Taccetta, who was engaged, will be buried in her wedding dress.
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