Pharmacy Shooting Victim's Mom Weeps Over "Senseless" Death

By Greg Cergol
|  Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011  |  Updated 10:06 AM EDT
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Choking back sobs, the mother of 33-year-old Jamie Taccetta, who was slain while shopping in a Long Island pharmacy, says she hopes police find her daughter's killer and bring him to justice.

Choking back sobs, the mother of 33-year-old Jamie Taccetta, who was slain while shopping in a Long Island pharmacy, says she hopes police find her daughter's killer and bring him to justice.

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The mother of one of the four people killed during a Long Island pharmacy robbery wept Tuesday about the senseless loss of her 33-year-old daughter, who was planning her wedding and was "so happy."

"She was going to get married, she was happy with her life... I can't believe my daughter's gone. She was a wonderful person. So wonderful. I'm really going to miss her," Pat Taccetta said, of her daughter, Jamie.

Police said Tuesday that Jamie Taccetta's fiance was the person who first called 911 -- he had been waiting for her in the parking lot of the Medford, N.Y. pharmacy when she was gunned down along with three others.

James Manzella told the New York Post on Tuesday that he waited for the "love of his life" in the car while she went inside to pick up a prescription.

"Can you imagine sitting there in air conditioning, listening to music, and then the next minute she's gone?" he said.

Manzella told the Post that Taccetta, who had two daughters, had already bought a wedding dress for their Oct. 15 wedding.

Jamie Taccetta's mother said Tuesday that the crime was "so senseless."

"He could have stolen the drugs and left everybody... there was no reason to shoot them. He took away four lives," she said.

Police are still looking for the gunman who they said was an addict searching for painkillers.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer warned physicians and the owners of small drugstores in the area to be vigilant about anyone "expressing an urgent need for prescription painkillers." He said added police patrols would be deployed near small pharmacies until a suspect is apprehended.

Dormer called Sunday's killing at the pharmacy "one of the most heinous, brutal crimes we have ever encountered."

Police identified the two employees who were killed as pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, 45, of Centereach, and store clerk Jennifer Mejia, 17, of East Patchogue. The other slain customer, along with Taccetta, was identified as Bryon Sheffield, 71.

The suspect appears in still photographs from the video released by police; he's a gaunt man in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-8 with a thin build. He has dark hair, was unshaven or has a dark beard and mustache and wore a dark hooded sweat shirt, dark pants and a white baseball cap.

He stole painkillers and killed everyone in the shop before fleeing with a black backpack.

Police have offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the man, whom detectives described as "extremely dangerous." Dormer said the department had already received a "substantial number of tips which detectives are working on right now."

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