On the Horizon: Pharmacy Danger

I have never had a gun put in my face, but in talking to those who have, I hear a recurring theme; no matter the caliber, when you are starring down the barrel it looks like a cannon. Something I thought of when I learned of the conviction of an Oklahoma City pharmacist last week.

Jerome Ersland was given a life sentence for the first-degree murder of would be robber 16-year-old Antwun Parker. The 59-year-old pharmacist shot the youngster six times during an attempted armed robbery in 2009, leading jurors to decide he had acted beyond the limits of self defense.

Dramatic surveillance footage shows Antwun Parker and an accomplice running into the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in South Oklahoma City and pointing a gun directly at Mr. Ersland. Ersland then shot the 16-year-old dropping him to the floor. After chasing the accomplice from the store, Ersland then gets a second gun before shooting Parker another five times.

I wonder if when Mr. Ersland went to pharmacy school, he could have imagined he would find himself in such a life and death situation.

When asked why he robbed banks, bank robber Willie Sutton is reported to have said…”because that is where the money is.”

That same principle applies in a disturbing trend of pharmacy hold ups. Criminals not looking for money, but for drugs. In today’s video blog, Oklahoma Horizon’s Courtenay Dehoff introduces us to another Oklahoma pharmacist who was on the wrong side of drug store violence.


Pharmacy Danger from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.



2 thoughts on “On the Horizon: Pharmacy Danger”

  1. I greatly appreciate your article. Once again RDC has hit the nail on the head with a subject of current and valid point of view. My daughter is a pharmicist and I am so glad she has been able to put her work on hold and devote her time to raising her children.
    After thirty plus years of work in Law Enforcement I have too often seen the victims have to live behind bars in their homes. I have seen home after home have to bar their windows and doors to try to protect what they have worked so hard to legally acquire. I believe again we are seeing an innocent person have to live behind bars unjustly. I believe at this time the only one who should be feeling guilt in the Reliable Pharmacy shooting is the person who raised the monster that attempted the robbery. The parent should be hanging her head in shame because she raised this young man to a fate such as he realized. In my opinion.
    Thank you RDC and Kelly for another great article.

    1. Sam – thanks so much for your comments. I’ve really appreciated the Oklahoma Horizon team and the stories they are bringing us. They do good work, and they cover a wide variety of issues. I saddened by the entire course of events related to this most recent case, and can understand people living in fear if they work in a place such as a pharmacy. I’ll pass your comments on to Rob and the OK Horizon team. Take care, Kelly

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