Pharmacist shoots & kills holdupman

Pharmacist shoots & kills holdupman

Jerome Ersland was back at work Thursday filling prescriptions and hoping that by taking the life of a 16-year-old boy two days earlier, he had saved others.

Rubbing an oversized bandage on his left forearm, where he said he was grazed by a robber’s bullet, Ersland related details of what he said was a highly organized hit on the Reliable Discount Pharmacy.

"I just regret anybody would get killed,” Ersland said. "But if I wouldn’t have been here, there would have been three people killed — the other pharmacist and the two techs.”

He also recalls the angry voices of people who gathered outside the pharmacy Tuesday night, shouting that he was a racist who unnecessarily took a life of the Seeworth Academy charter school student, Antwun Parker.

"There were a lot of black people gathered out there yelling and everything at my boss,” Ersland said.

An organized hit
After the pharmacy near SW 59 and Pennsylvania was robbed two years ago, the owner installed new security measures to try to make sure his employees would never again be forced to a back room and pistol-whipped.
"We have a very good security system,” Ersland said, motioning to the magnetic door locks that won’t let anyone in or out of the store without permission. "The door locks, and they (robbers) knew that. They had cased it because they knew exactly what time to hit us when we’d have all of our narcotics out and our money out.”

About 10 minutes before 6 p.m., Ersland said, two robbers wearing ski masks waited for someone to leave the pharmacy and then grabbed the open door and threw down a board to stop the door from closing.

The robbers went in cursing and yelling, ordering employees to give them money and drugs, Ersland said.

Two women who were working behind the counter ran for a back room where they would be safe, but Ersland said he couldn’t run. Ersland said he’s a veteran with disabilities from wounds he received in Operation Desert Storm, wears a cumbersome back brace and just had his latest back surgery six weeks ago.

"All of a sudden, they started shooting,” he said. "They were attempting to kill me, but they didn’t know I had a gun. They said, ‘You’re gonna die.’ That’s when one of them shot at me, and that’s when he got my hand.”

Ersland said he was thrown against a wall, but managed to go for the semiautomatic in his pocket.

"And that’s when I started defending myself,” he said. "The first shot got him in the head, and that slowed him down so I could get my other gun.”

But as one robber hit the floor, Ersland said, a bullet from the other robber whizzed past his ear.

The pharmacist said he then got his second gun from a nearby drawer, a Taurus "Judge.”

After he had the big gun, Ersland said, the second robber ran.

But as he started to chase after the second robber, Ersland said, he looked back to see the 16-year-old he had shot in the head getting up again. Ersland said he then emptied the Kel-Tec .380 into the boy’s chest as he kept going after the second robber.

"I went after the other guy, but he was real fast and I’m crippled,” Ersland said.

Outside the pharmacy, he said he saw what he thought was a third black male in a car with the engine running and reaching for what appeared to be a shotgun.

"I pulled out my ‘Judge’ and pointed it right between his eyes and he floored it,” Ersland said.

The investigation
Because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, police said they could not confirm any of Ersland’s story, including whether Ersland was shot, whether the robbers ever fired on him or even if Parker was armed.
On Thursday, police were still looking for the second robber, described as a black man in his 20s, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighing about 175 pounds. The man was last seen wearing a red shirt and dark pants.

A man was arrested about a block away after crashing a stolen car that fit the description Ersland gave, but police said the man has not been linked to the robbery.

After the gunfire
When he went back in the pharmacy, Ersland said, he called police.
"I asked if the girls were all right, and they were in the back crying,” he said. "I was glad to know they were alive. We were lucky and I’m glad I defended us, because I feel that a person has a right to defend themselves at their home or at their work. People deserve to be safe and not be afraid of people that want to take money when they don’t work for it.”

That’s what the Second Amendment and the state’s "concealed carry” license are for, he said.

"Fortunately, God made them miss me, except for this minor scratch,” Ersland said.

"I was able to return fire and protect the girls’ lives. God was helping me.”

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9 Comments

5 years 7 weeks ago, 3:47 PM

Schuyler

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The story is not quite right. Two young men entered the pharmacy with guns. He shot one, who fell to the ground, then ran after the second one. He then walked past the downed robber, got a second gun, came back and shot the guy five times in the chest. According to reports, This guy was down at the time. Here's a video of the event:

http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/2009/06/01/ignatius-piazza-ho...

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
5 years 7 weeks ago, 3:57 PM

ivantank

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the rest of the story...jeez guilty...you really have to keep control of your emotions...

I have reasons for the things I do, just don't expect them to be reasonable
5 years 7 weeks ago, 4:23 PM

Schuyler

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Maybe there were other circumstances so I'm not going to jump in there and condemn him outright, but it sure looks bad. I do object to the prosecutor saying, 'This was a child.' BS. The man had a gun and was robbing the place. That makes you an adult.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
5 years 7 weeks ago, 4:32 PM

raffycanlas

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schuyler

child or not it dont make a difference, if somebody is coming after you with a chainsaw it dont matter if he is 50 or 15, it will still kill you lol. but of course black people will be classless as usual and protest outside an innocent business place, they will always think its murder so long as it aint black on black crime.

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
5 years 7 weeks ago, 4:38 PM

Reaper308

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just shows

that you have to be very careful when using deadly force. You guys are right though. The suspect may have only been 16, but he was old enough for armed robbery. It also doesn't matter if the suspects fired at the pharmacist or not. They were still pointng guns at him, and he had the right to defend himself. Had he empied all 6 of those shots into the robber at once the first time, he would probably be ok, but he didn't make the smartest decision when the threat was down and he returned later to finish him off.

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 7 weeks ago, 4:57 PM

Reaper308

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Judge

I wonder if he had .45LC or .410 loaded in the judge?

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 7 weeks ago, 5:05 PM

Lyle Hutchins 1

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Great Head Shot!

Schuyler, I agree, age makes no difference, he is an adult the moment he picked up the gun, or his accomplace picked it up. I teach my son when he has his .22 in his hands then he is a man. (NOT meaning that having a firearm makes him a man". Having a firearm he better act responsible like a man. The two gave up their rights to live when they entered the store! I don't care if they weren't out of High School. Like I said last nite, they went in to robb, and steal, they forced the mans hand, he killed one, they should have been home watching TV, or X box. He would be alive today, and the Pharmist wouldnt have a head ache! Oh, yea, you are write about the shooting, the extra rounds to the torso. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL DO IN SIMILAR SECIRMSTANCES,! Like I have mentented before, CLEET (Continous, Law Enforce, Education, and Traning) trains 3 CENTER MASS, ONE TO THE HEAD! Oh I almost forgot, his second gun was a "Taurus JUDGE"!!!

cherokee65

Lyle Hutchinson
5 years 7 weeks ago, 9:29 PM

DEMO

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I would not have ran out after the 2nd guy BUT no robbery- no deaths.
Why are we not asking the criminal to hold responsibility? They created a stressful situation, this guy defended himself but f'd up under the pressure. When will the burden be pressed upon the criminal? When will we say the criminal got what he deserved. What if the pharmacist's whole store got shot up.........why penalize the hard working guy and defend the criminal? Just a thought

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5 years 7 weeks ago, 11:38 PM

runawaygun762

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I guess it's all going to come down to whether or not he can convince the court that the robber was a threat from the ground. If he walked past an unconscious person who came to, or the bad guy was playing possum and tried to get up after the pharmacist walked past him to shoot him in the back, then the position of the robber when the older guy emptied his gun into him doesn't matter. As for his demeanor when he's shooting the guy, people will make comments about how calm he seems to be, there's simply a misconception tat people have about life-threatening events or periods of extreme stress. You don't necessarily have some wild-eyed look and you don't necessaruly hop around all keyed up like those idiots did when they first walked in I would love to find some close-up video footage of people actually involved in shootouts/firefights/whatever so less-informed folks could se what it looks like. This guy maybe be absolutely guilty of murder or he may simply look guilty on tape. Now it's up to forensics and interview/interrogation to figure it out.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
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Posted by: samD
5 years 7 weeks ago
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