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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

L.I. pharmacy massacre: Police take Medford resident David Laffer in custody in murder investigation

David Laffer is removed by police from his Medford, L.I., home which was raided by cops Wednesday morning in connection with the quadruple homicide at a pharmacy

A quiet Long Island man was hauled out of his house in handcuffs Wednesday and was being questioned - along with his wife - in the cold-blooded massacre of four people at a local pharmacy.

David Laffer was removed from his Medford, L.I., home after heavily-armed officers from the Suffolk County Police stormed the house.

His wife, Melinda Brady, was also being grilled, sources said.

Neither Laffer, 33, nor Brady, believed to be 29, have been charged. The potential break in the case capped an intensive three-day manhunt for the maniac responsible for the massacre at Haven Drugs on Sunday.

"I just want to take a good look at him," Daniel Taccetta, brother of shooting victim Jamie Taccetta, said of Laffer when he arrived at a Suffolk County Police station. "We want justice. The lethal injection would be too quick for him. He should rot in solitary confinement."

Laffer's neighbors were stunned by the development.

"I've known David since he was a child," said a weeping Ziada Ayala, a neighbor and family friend of 40 years. "He was just a nice quiet boy."

Peter Spano was helping a pal do housework next door when cops stormed the house.

"They used a battering ram on the door and less than two minutes later they walked a young man out," Spano said. "He walked right by me. He was cuffed behind his back."

Laffer, Spano said, "looked withdrawn, like a skull."

"He looked like death," he said. "He looked like there was nothing in him. He didn't say a word."

In several Internet postings, Laffer claimed to have served in an Army military intelligence unit in The Bronx under Ronald Bucca, a heroic fire marshal who was killed on 9/11.

"He always talked about the FBI," Ayala said.

But in a Daily News wedding announcement that appeared in January 2009, Laffer was described as working "in logistics shipping and receiving."

Laffer, according to the announcement, was also a devoted Islanders fan whose proposal to Brady was shown on the large TV screens in the arena.

It also appears that Laffer played goalie on a local hockey team. On his Facebook page, he listed the Springfield XD - a semi-automatic handgun - as one of his activities.

Laffer was nabbed after dozens of shaken Medford residents held a vigil outside the drug store turned killed zone.

Many placed red roses at the door of the shuttered store as a Catholic priest delivered a prayer for the dead.

"It's unbelievable to think anything like this can happen in our community," said Jim Gubitosi, 59, who was among the 30 or so visitors paying their respects. "It's the only thing anyone is thinking about."

Cops say the killer methodically shot two store employees, pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, 45, of Centereach, and store clerk Jennifer Mejia, 17, of East Patchogue.

He also shot two customers - Taccetta, 33, of Springfield and Bryon Sheffield, 71, of Medford - before walking out with a knapsack full of prescription drugs, police said.

Brianna Cirillo, 19, held a photo of her slain friend, Mejia.

"She had her whole life in front of her," she said. "He had no remorse. It's not fair for any of these families."

Arrest In L.I. Pharmacy Killings:


  1. Look at the beautiful house this animal lived in. If found guilty this animal needs to be executed for taking 4 innocent lives

  2. From NY Daily News article Jan 11 2009.

    Since David is Jewish and Melinda is Christian, it was important to the couple to hold an interfaith ceremony. This included a traditional Jewish chuppah, a unity candle, the blessing of the challah and scripture readings