If you were to go and try to pick up prescription drugs form Haven Drugs in Medford Long Island New York, you would notice candles burning, colorful flowers, and a sign that reads “Haven Drugs will be closed until further notice!”
This is because on Sunday, Fathers Day, a man walked into the small local drug store at around 10:20 a.m. and caused “one of the most heinous, brutal crimes we have ever encountered” said Soffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer.
The man was about 5-foot-8 with a thin build, between his late 20’s and early 30’s. He walked into the pharmacy with a white baseball cap, black backpack, dark bearded face, and robbed the store with a hand gun.
The man could have fled the scene of the crime after he had the painkillers. Instead he shoot everyone in the store at a very close range, the man killed everyone in the form of execution. Police said that the only motive the gunman had was painkillers – he left the money behind.
Dormer said, “The victims, whose lives were cut tragically short, were killed for no apparent reason, without warning…they offered no resistance and did not appear to provoke the assailant.”
Police have warned physicians and small drugstore owners in the suburban Long Island community, to be vigilant about anyone “expressing an urgent need for prescription painkillers.” Police have added more patrols around the area and surrounding the small pharmacies until the suspect is apprehended.
The four victims that were part of the Fathers Day massacre were identified as Raymond Ferguson, 45, and Jennifer Mejia, 17, who were both pharmacy employees. The two customers in the store where identified as Bryon Sheffield, 71, and Jamie Taccetta, 33.
Taccetta is being buried on Saturday in her wedding dress that she had just pick out. She was going to get married in October. Pat Taccetta, 52, Jamie’s mother had just returned from the Caribbean’s when she got the news on Monday.
Pat said, “He was so senseless. He could have stolen the drugs and left everybody alone.” She also had a message for the shooter. “We are going to get you, justice will be done.”
Ralph Taccetta, who is Jamie’s father said “The first night that I heard about it, you know, I was there searching the area, just looking for anyone with a backpack, just looking, looking.”
Jennifer Mejia was going to graduate form Bellport High School on Thursday. She had her prom dress ready and was ambitiously working towards being a doctor. Rene Mejia, Jennifer’s father said, “This morning (Sunday) she told me happy Fathers Day” with a hug and hurried to work.
Rene said that the drug store had been robbed before but his daughter was not afraid. He said he almost lost both his daughters; because Jennifer’s younger sister was suppose to work that morning at the store also.
Ferguson was briefly covering the shift of the owner as a favor. Sheffield was a loving grandpa and was just picking up heart medication for his wife.
If the man would have left the store with the painkillers this would just have been another story of the bad influence painkiller addiction has on our communities. Drug stores are known to be robbed for OxyContin and other opiate based drugs, but there is no reason for the senseless killing of other people – no matter how addicted one is to any substance. Call and get help from an addictions professional if you or a loved one is suffering from painkiller addiction.