Multiple local news outlets are reporting that 33-year-old David Laffer has been taken in handcuffs out of his Medford home Wednesday morning and that he is the gunman wanted for killing four people at a pharmacy about a mile from the home three days ago.
Laffer and his wife were reportedly taken into custody after up to 40 Suffolk County police officers swarmed a house on Pitchpine Place. Authorities are neither confirming the names of those arrested nor that they are linked to the Father’s Day massacre at Haven Drugs pharmacy.
“He looked like somebody who was coming off a drug addiction,” said Peter Spano, who witnessed the arrest. “This is not somebody who started doing drugs last month,” he said.
“I was shocked,” said a neighbor, Trish Bohlert. “Something must have made him snap.”
The reports first came during a memorial service three days after a robber killed four people at the pharmacy on Southaven Avenue 20 minutes after the shop opened 10 a.m. Sunday. The suspect made off with a backpack full of prescription medication, although it was not immediately clear what kind.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer has called the crime “one of the most heinous, brutal crimes we have ever encountered.” Police had fielded hundreds of tips from the public since the murders.
Those killed include a pharmacist, his 17-year-old assistant and two customers. A steady stream of mourners have been paying their respects at the crime scene since the slayings.
The pharmacist, 45-year-old Raymond Ferguson of Centereach, was killed along with his assistant, Jennifer Mejia, of East Patchogue—who was slated to graduate from Bellport High School on Thursday. The two customers include 71-year-old Bryon Sheffield of Medford and Jamie Taccetta, 33, of Farmingville.
All four were shot at close range and did not resist, police said. The case comes as Long Island is gripped by an epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse.
It is the worst such case since the 1993 Long Island Rail Road massacre when Colin Ferguson killed six people and wounded 19 at the Merillon Avenue station.