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UPDATED: Police Say Pharmacy Killer Caught, Wife Also Charged

Police take 33-year-old David Laffer and his wife into custody in connection with pharmacy shootings.

The manhunt for the Medford pharmacy killer is over.  

David Laffer, 33, and his wife, Melinda Brady, 29, were taken into custody Wednesday morning at their Medford home in connection with the Father's Day quadruple at Haven Drugs, police have confirmed.

Laffer faces first degree murder charges as well as a charge of resisting arrest. Brady is charged with third degree robbery and obstructing governmental administration. 

Laffer will be held overnight at the Fifth Precinct in Patchogue and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip, police said. Brady will also be arraigned in Central Islip Thursday.  

The couple may have targeted the Medford pharmacy to help fuel Brady's addiction to prescription painkillers, according to published reports.

A neighbor said earlier Wednesday that Laffer fit the description of the killer released by police after Sunday's shootings.

Peter Spano, 51, said he was working approximately 50 yards away, across the street from the home at the time of the arrests.

"Saw the police go in, and get the guy out in five minutes," Spano said.

He said that he had never seen the man before the arrest. Spano described the man identified as Laffer as appearing similar to a person captured in surveillance  from the pharmacy but without the beard. 

Laffer, a 1995 graduate of Patchogue-Medford High School, looked to be in physical and mental pain during the arrest, Spano said. 

A published photo from the scene shows a gaunt Laffer with a bloody face and torn gray t-shirt. 

Laffer and Brady were married in 2009 after Laffer, who worked in logistics shipping and receiving, proposed on a large screen at an Islanders hockey game, according to a wedding announcement in the New York Daily News.

Trish Bolert, who lives next door to the Laffer home, said she was shocked to hear news of the arrests. 

“He’s a nice kid and nice guy,” Bolert said of Laffer.

Another neighbor described Laffer as being withdrawn.

Brian Heaton, a former Patchogue resident and 1994 graduate of Patchogue-Medford High School now living in California, remembers Laffer from their days together as members of the school’s Air Force Jr. ROTC program.

“Back then, he was a kid like anyone else,” said Heaton, who served as the cadet commander for the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC program. “He was a nice kid and a really good cadet who loved the military.”

Heaton and Laffer were connections on Facebook, but Heaton noted that the two had not communicated with each other in quite sometime. He said the most recent post by Laffer on Laffer’s Facebook page was in November 2010, and was what Heaton termed just a generic “hello.”

Laffer's personal Facebook page lists "Springfield XD," a semi-automatic pistol, under activities and interests. 

A call to the Laffer home at 30 Pitchpine Place, just a couple miles from the murder scene on Southaven Avenue, went unanswered Wednesday.

The arrests come three days after police say Laffer walked into the pharmacy on Southaven Avenue and opened fire. Two employees–Jennifer Mejia, 17, of East Patchogue and Raymond Ferguson, 45, of Centereach–were killed along with two customers –Bryon Sheffield, 71, of Medford and Jamie Taccetta, 33, of Farmingville.

Police say Laffer took prescription drugs from the pharmacy after the quadruple homicide, which Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer has "one of the most heinous, brutal crimes" he's ever encountered.

 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

Michael Sorrentino, Greg Sleter and Krystle DiNicola contributed to this story.

H@M June 23, 2011 at 06:58 PM
They should send him to TX so he can be put on the electric chair and die like the animal he is.. This crime is so horrible...
Mike June 24, 2011 at 06:24 AM
The chair isn't used anymore but I agree. This scumbag deserves it.
VillageResident June 24, 2011 at 01:27 PM
I definitely have mixed feelings about what the pair's penalty should be if/when they are found guilty and sentenced. I am not an advocate of the Death Penalty because after execution there is no appeal. There have been many innocent people put to death and later it was found out they should not have been executed. Also, keeping a prisoner on Death Row and the costs to authorities make it almost prohibitively expensive. Although, perhaps there should be an exception. In cases like this one those affected by such an heinous crime could petition the court to bring back the Old English punishments. You know, like Flogging within an inch of life, hanging three times and being revived, breaking every bone in their body with a huge wheel and the ultimate punishment, Drawing and Quartering. Or, maybe the Ancient Chinese had it right: Skin them alive and then drown them slowly in Salt Water! This pair has caused us all pain and threatened our private lives. It's difficult to decide what the correct punishment should be for them if/when they are convicted. We are supposed to be Civilized but like I said, Sometimes ...
Emily Sussman June 24, 2011 at 08:15 PM
OMG, what a mugshot!
VillageResident June 24, 2011 at 08:54 PM
I think it is indicative of resisting arrest. It's good for him it wasn't Navy Seal Team 1 that was sent to capture him. Although that might have been better and it would have eliminated the need for a lengthy drawn out trial that is sure to happen. Justice is not usually very swift.

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