The Long Island man accused of methodically killing four people inside a pharmacy during a robbery for painkillers showed "no remorse" for his alleged crime, authorities said Thursday morning.
David Laffer, 33, also pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the shooting deaths of four people.
He was was ordered held without bail. At the court appearance, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney John Collins called the shooting at Haven Drugs "the most cold-blooded robbery-homicide in Suffolk County history."
Collins said investigators recovered a matching fingerprint at the crime scene, and they also recovered the.45-caliber gun believed to have been used in the shootings. The weapon was registered to Laffer, and was found disassembled in his home, authorities said.
During a morning press conference, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said Laffer expressed no remorse and is not cooperating with detectives. He said surveillance video shows that Laffer committed an "execution without provocation."
"I'm not going to speculate as to why he executed these four people," Dormer said. "It doesn't make sense to me why he executed that crime."
Laffer committed the crime with such efficiency, Dormer said, that "it was sudden and quick and unexpected" and some of his victims "probably didn't even realize what happened."
Dormer credited the public for helping to identify the shooter, bringing an end Wednesday morning to the intense manhunt.
After circulating clear surveillance videos of the suspect, police received more than 400 calls from the public, said Suffolk County executive Steve Levy. Combined with the "outstanding work from law enforcement agencies," police were able to capture 33-year-old David Laffer in his home.
Laffer, whose mugshot shows severe facial wounds, was "very violent" when police moved to take him into custody and resisted arrest, Dormer said.
Laffer was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder and resisting arrest.
Laffer said nothing as he was led from police headquarters Wednesday wearing a white jumpsuit. He was later briefly hospitalized, but officials did not say why.
His wife, 29-year-old Melinda Brady, was charged with robbery for her involvement in the drug store heist. She was also charged with obstructing governmental administration. Her arraignment is now expected Friday.
Dormer said Brady was "extremely disruptive" while police were taking her husband into custody, which led to the obstruction charge.
The two were "obviously under the influence of narcotics" when they were taken into custody, said Dormer.
Brady told reporters "I'm sorry he did all of this" as she was leaving Suffolk police headquarters in Yaphank early Thursday morning.
Dormer said Brady drove Laffer to and from the pharmacy.
Friends and neighbors said they did not believe Laffer, whom they described as polite and friendly, was the shooter.
About 30 to 40 officers converged on Laffer's home early Wednesday, said Peter Spano, a landscaper who was working on the lawn next door. Spano said the thin, "distraught" man resembled the suspect in the surveillance photos, except without a beard.
According to their wedding announcement, Laffer and his future wife met while they were out to dinner with mutual friends, and he proposed to her at an Islanders game. "To Melinda's complete surprise, he had been planning the engagement for more than a year and his proposal was shown on the large TV screens in the arena," according to the 2009 announcement.
Next-door neighbor Trish Bohlert attended the wedding and said Laffer was always friendly.
"Something must have made him snap, because his personality, I can't picture him robbing a store, much less hurt people," she said.
Zaida Ayala, a longtime neighbor, said she had spoken to Laffer's mother Tuesday about the shooting.
"She was shocked," by the violence, Ayala said. "She says 'now we can't even go walking around at night.'"
Ayala said Laffer is "a guy that I feel comfortable with, a guy that I could be out, 1 o'clock in the morning in my backyard, and he could be in his backyard and I wouldn't run inside and go get my husband."
She said she does not believe he is the shooter.
"You could give me a million dollars to pick somebody and he would be the last person I would've picked," she said.
His Facebook page showed he was interested in weapons and science fiction. He lists himself as a fan of the conspiracy-based science fiction drama "Dark Skies" and the Spike TV show "Deadliest Warrior." He also lists Springfield XD, a type of pistol, among his interests.