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Oklahoma druggist arrested for killing holdup man

May 30th, 2009 . by TexasFred

Oklahoma druggist arrested for killing holdup man

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Confronted by two holdup men, pharmacist Jerome Ersland pulled a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. Then, in a scene recorded by the drugstore’s security camera, he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded teenager as he lay on the floor.

Now Ersland has been charged with first-degree murder in a case that has stirred a furious debate over vigilante justice and self-defense and turned the pharmacist into something of a folk hero.

Ersland, 57, is free on $100,000 bail, courtesy of an anonymous donor. He has won praise from the pharmacy’s owner, received an outpouring of cards, letters and checks from supporters, and become the darling of conservative talk radio.

“His adrenaline was going. You’re just thinking of survival,” said John Paul Hernandez, 60, a retired Defense Department employee who grew up in the neighborhood. “All it was is defending your employee, business and livelihood. If I was in that position and that was me, I probably would have done the same thing.”

Full Story Here:
Oklahoma druggist arrested for killing holdup man

I am probably going to anger a few folks with this post, some will agree, some won’t, but that’s the price you pay when you have a blog and you’re not afraid to go after the most controversial of topics.

All we have to go on in this particular case is the information presented by the AP, based on that information, and working under the assumption that their information is correct, I have got to say, I feel that this guy is as guilty of murder as was Joe Horn. The grand jury in Pasadena, TX didn’t bring charges against Horn, much to my surprise, and depending upon the attitudes of the folks in Oklahoma, Jerome Ersland may end up being acquitted as well.

To shoot in self defense is not an issue for me. If someone comes into my home uninvited, in the middle of the night, or day for that matter, and is intent on doing me or my family harm, it’s an absolute given, I will punch their ticket to HELL and have absolutely NO feelings of guilt in doing so. For Ersland to have shot this wannabe bad boy in the head, and put him down, was an adequate and very acceptable response, and for that I am in full support of Ersland. To go back and get another gun, and shoot the bad boy 5 more times? Well, that is where you have to draw the line. Unless the guy was continuing to present a clear and present danger to Ersland and the stores occupants, this was way over the line of self defense!

Don Spencer, a 49-year-old National Rifle Association member who lives in the small town of Meridian, 40 miles north of Oklahoma City, said the pharmacist did the right thing: “You shoot more than enough to make sure the threat has been removed.”

Don, you are exactly what is wrong with the NRA, you give gun owners a bad name. Yes, Ersland was right in his initial reaction, that is an absolute in MY opinion. But to go back, change guns and to then shoot the guy 5 more times? That is cold blooded, premeditated MURDER, I don’t care HOW you cut it!

District Attorney David Prater said Ersland was justified in shooting 16-year-old Antwun Parker once in the head, but not in firing the additional shots into his belly. The prosecutor said the teenager was unconscious, unarmed, lying on his back and posing no threat when Ersland fired what the medical examiner said were the fatal shots.

The guy was shot, he presented, as I understand it, no THREAT at that particular point in time, that is where LAW ENFORCEMENT comes into play. Let the police do their job and let the guy spend some time in McAlester. Now, depending upon the whims and moods of a jury, and the skill of the lawyers, Ersland may well be the one spending time in McAlester.

Anthony Douglas, president of the Oklahoma chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called it an “execution-style murder” and praised the district attorney for bringing charges. Ersland is white; the two suspects were black.

I won’t begin to speculate as to what was going through Ersland’s head in regards to race, and any possible act of racial hatred, but this is one time that I am having to stand in agreement with the observation made by Anthony Douglas of the NAACP, what started out as a legitimate act of self defense turned into, in my opinion, an “execution-style murder”, no matter what color the robbers were. And personally speaking, the color of the robbers or the shooter have no bearing on this issue. It is my feeling that the MSM is using the skin color of the participants in an attempt to further inflame the sensitivities of weak minded individuals that are easily baited into throwing the *race card*…

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40 Responses to “Oklahoma druggist arrested for killing holdup man”

  1. comment number 1 by: Katie

    I have to agree with you Fred. If he had stopped after the first shot it would be self-defense. But 5 more after he is down isn’t. That’s cold-blooded murder in my eyes.

  2. comment number 2 by: ablur

    If the story is accurate and he went after the second, came back, got another gun and did 5 more rounds, the guy should be arrested for murder.
    I can already see the defense dragging out the adrenalin rush out of his head, defense.

    I like you am ticked off at Don Spencer. These are the people that bring all other gun members down. The NRA should publicly pull his membership until he has received proper gun training. If this is a bad quote then someone should be going after the reporter for a retraction.

  3. comment number 3 by: im4fdln

    ANYONE that commits armed robbery should be LEGALLY executed! But to purposefully “finish off” an incapacitated robber is nothing less than a vigilante killing. Had the phamacist been a ceritifed peace officer, or soldier, I doubt so many would rally to their defense.

  4. comment number 4 by: Shooterman

    One can only use enough deadly force to stop an attack. No more!

  5. comment number 5 by: Pat Houseworth

    Not angry Fred, but I disagree, the punk should have been shot 10 times just to make sure the sonofabitch was dead….Kill every one of the bastards. These guys were punks, Joe Horn did the right thing and so did this guy.

    IMO…and my opinion only.

  6. comment number 6 by: Pat Houseworth

    and fvck the NAACP…they are nothing more than “The Klan with a Tan”.

  7. comment number 7 by: TexasFred

    comment number 4 by: Shooterman
    Today at 2:41 PM (1 minute ago)

    One can only use enough deadly force to stop an attack. No more!

    I know that, and YOU know that, most SANE gun owners know that, but I just had some asshat on Facebook, a clown named Stacey Decker, from OKC, that claims to have 2 Masters degrees, tell me that this was a justified shoot. His attitude is, the guy got what he deserved…

    @Pat Houseworth, you are not nearly the MAN I thought you were… I just lost a TON of respect for you, not for the NAACP remark, hell, I agree there, but murder is murder and ANYONE that condones it is a moonbat, and if you are saying that this guy was right to commit murder, you’re no longer welcome here.

  8. comment number 8 by: Pat Houseworth

    No problem Fred, but one thing, this son of a bitch is dead and good riddence, he will rob no more.

    You ask for opinions, and I gave you mine…and I have only one Masters degree, those are meaningless when it comes to my opinions on matters such as these.

  9. comment number 9 by: TexasFred

    Until such time that armed robbery becomes a CAPITAL offense, Pat, you are no better than the Taliban…

    I ran a red light once, maybe they should have shot me too, that would guarantee that I would run red lights NO MORE…

    Unf*cking believable…

  10. comment number 10 by: GM Roper

    Methinks Houseworth is likely a member of an organization much like the NAACP … justifying a behavior based on someone elses inappropriate behavior. Isn’t that what today’s NAACP does, demand unwarrented goodies because of some rubes behavior?

    I agree with you Fred (OMG… :) ) this was clear cut murder unless the kid was already dead … in which it was clear cut mutilation of a body for no damn reason other than the druggist was angry.

  11. comment number 11 by: TexasFred

    No Pat, I get the last word here, and your revolting comment has all but gotten you banned, almost… As close as I have ever come and not done it…

    Anyone that condones MURDER is an idiot, and until today I would never have even dreamed that you were in that ilk… As I said, you are no longer welcome here…

    EDIT: Oopps… I guess I spoke too soon, calling me an *asshole* just got ya banned…

  12. comment number 12 by: BobF

    I saw the surveillance video of this shooting. The man’s first shot put the punk down and he want out after the other robber, emptying his gun on the other that ran away. The guy then came back in, calmly walked into a back room, either got another gun or new clip, and then calmly walked to the one that was down and shot him repeatedly. There was absolutely no call for doing that.

    Castle domain laws have been hard fought for. Actions like this guy’s only sets things back.

    As far as the NRA quote, it strikes me as funny they went to some member who lives 40 miles away and they even mention his age. If the NRA supports this shooting, then they’re wrong.

  13. comment number 13 by: BobF

    Here’s the video

    YouTube - Raw Video: Pharmacist Kills Would-be Teen Robber

  14. comment number 14 by: TexasFred

    Fully agree Bob, ALL counts…

    And before anyone thinks I have gone soft, I do NOT mourn the passing of this wannabe bad boy robber, he is NO loss to any of us, but we are a nation of laws. It is against the law to murder a person.

    If you want to kill the robber or intruder, do it with the 1st shot, a 1, 2 even a 3 shot burst if you happen to be a, as Patrick Sperry so aptly put it, a TRAINED GUNFIGHTER, a 2 or 3 shot burst and the asshole is likely going to die.

    To come back, after the fact, reload, or to get another gun, and to then shoot the guy 5 more times, when he is unconscious and presenting NO threat whatsoever is, quite simply, MURDER, and ANY asshat that comes here saying that MURDER is acceptable WILL be shown the door…

    Yeah, sometimes I am an asshole, at least in the opinion of some, this is one of those times…

  15. comment number 15 by: TexasFred

    LMAO… He should have shot the camera too… :twisted:

  16. comment number 16 by: Robert

    Well Fred, there are a couple of things that are not yet clear. This is still under some investigation from what I understand. IF the slug was trying to get up, I could somewhat understand…IF he was just laying there then it’s murder.

    We always have said there should only be ONE story told in the event of someone trying to rob us. This guy evidently didn’t get the memo, The video is pretty damning and he will be a wife to someone named Bubba.

    Say what you will about Joe Horn, but the only evidence of his wrongdoing had to come from CSI… The pharmacist left video evidence and it will cost him.

    I’m not real happy about the way it was done, however; the sequence of events was set in motion by the crooks. Had they not committed the felony in the first place the pharmacist would not have had the opportunity to show his ass…Not going to shed a tear for the slug or the Pharmacist….good riddance to both.

  17. comment number 17 by: TexasFred

    Shoot the camera…

    Joe Horn had a Pasadena PD officer witness his shooting and that crazy old bastard STILL got off…

  18. comment number 18 by: StormWarning

    The “line of acceptable deadly force” is a “fine” line. If someone invades my home (as the recent trend has been), and I get off some rounds and bring him down, that’s appropriate. But he’s still moving and I have rounds in my clip.

  19. comment number 19 by: TexasFred

    If he’s still moving and presents a THREAT, shoot him again.. If he’s unconscious and presents nothing more than a nuisance until to PD removes him and you shoot him again, it’s murder…

    And pistols don’t have *clips*, they have magazines…

  20. comment number 20 by: Patrick Sperry

    Here’s my take on it at this point, with the caveat as Fred noted that we only have THE NEWS REPORT TO GO ON.

    One: Bad guy get’s frisky = Gunfighter 101, shoot until the threat is no longer a threat, noting that anything that is deadly enough for you to shoot deserves to be shot at least three times in rapid sequence.

    Two: Once the bad guy is neutralized remove any other immediate threats, such as other bad guys, ACLU Lawyers, etc…

    Call 911, and render first aid as appropriate. After all, he may be a donor, who knows?

    So, while the Pharmacist failed to follow proper gunfight protocol, protocols are in fact only guidelines. The bad guy apparently was down and no threat. Please note that I say “apparently.” If that is indeed the fact then getting another weapon, and shooting him a few times more is not defense of oneself or others. I call it Homicide. Too what degree we need to hear the whole story, not just AP’s.

  21. comment number 21 by: TexasFred

    One: Bad guy get’s frisky = Gunfighter 101, shoot until the threat is no longer a threat, noting that anything that is deadly enough for you to shoot deserves to be shot at least three times in rapid sequence.

    Which presents the perfect reason to always carry a high capacity pistol. I personally like the 13+1 capability of the XD-45 Tactical, good looks, damned decent round and plenty of them. :twisted:

    Shoot the SOB with 10 rounds, in the INITIAL ENGAGEMENT! Personally, I have no issue with how many you hit him with in the initial engagement. That’s the part that several folks seem to have a problem getting their limited brain-pans wrapped around, but if the guy isn’t moving, if he’s down and out, stop shooting…

    And that brings us again back to carrying something that has REAL stopping power, and a 230gr Golden Saber, a Federal Hydro-Shok or a Ranger SXT will take care of ALL your robber problems, even if the SOB is wired on *dust*…

    If you shoot him with a decent 230gr hollow point and he doesn’t go down after 2 or 3 rounds, RUN!!! You’ve been shooting Superman!!

  22. comment number 22 by: hardheadedtexan

    1st degree murder. Premeditated. Period.

  23. comment number 23 by: TexasFred

    @ hardheadedtexan, back in the old days, when nearly all Law Enforcement folks were still carrying revolvers, it was pretty much a given that if an officer drew his weapon and fired off in the double action mode, he had, in all probability, acted correctly, BUT, if that officer drew his weapon and took the time to cock the hammer and fire a round from the single action mode, he was often determined to have taken the time to think and *reason* his actions, thus, a possible chance of a *bad shoot* going from being a less severe catastrophe to being full blown premeditation.

    That was one reason so many officers back in the day went to carrying semi-auto pistols as opposed to revolvers… Better magazine capacity too, always a plus in a gun fight…

  24. comment number 24 by: The BoBo

    Overkill - no pun intended. This went beyond self-defense. The first shot to the head was self-defense. After the 45 second delay, turning his back, getting a second gun, then unloading five bullets in to this kid’s stomach - it became murder. You’re right - this guy is the reason that we have to fight those anti-gun nuts to over our 2nd Amendment rights!

  25. comment number 25 by: TXSonOfLiberty

    Fred is right…..based on what we currently know…..murder. Sad, since the druggist was right in his initial response. I agree with Fred about the XD .45. Love mine!! Shoots good…easy to handle…..and its 13 + 1. Too bad the druggist didn’t respond with one initially.

    Haven’t been active on this site for awhile. Had my head down working….when to Michigan to bury my Mom. She’s with my Dad in heaven now. The folks I re-connected with in Michigan feel the same as we do down here in Texas. They too were sad when that moonbat woman from Huston killed the Texas Sovereignty Initiative on a technicality. I was trying to get all of them to move here. We can use all the Patriots we can get down here. Yes….they are stocking up!!!

    I am currently trying to draft a heartfelt letter to our Governor. We got to do something folks and soon.


  26. comment number 26 by: MissBeth

    Boy this is a tough one for me because of my background and training.

    1). My mother was a pharmacist with her own store. She had been held at gunpoint several times, the windows broken out (she eventually had to have bullet proof windows installed) and at one point, an asshole crawled in through the ventilation, fell in the store, broke his leg, sued her and WON. Oh yeah-he broke in after midnight.

    By the time she closed the store, she was doing business with a .357 snub nose behind her typewriter and a fully trained attack dog laying behind her. Daily.

    2) I can’t condone this pharmacist going back for another five shots. BUT it is not murder, it is merely manslaughter. To be considered murder, it has to have some degree of premeditation, over and above self defense, to qualify for that classification.

    From what I understood, this pharmacist was a retired, disabled vet. I don’t know for sure, though. And I can buy the adrenaline rush as well. That being said, though-no he should not be prosecuted for putting a bullet in this kid’s head. He should be prosecuted for the other five to finish him off.

    I watched mom’s attack dog rip off a would be robber’s arm in the midst of one the robberies. I saw my mother forced to open her safe with a gun at her head. I’ve felt a gun at my head as well. We are always told not to be heroes and by simply complying, we stand a better chance of coming out of the incident alive. Happily, that worked in our cases. But. People are plain sick, tired and thoroughly FED UP with these punks and their gangs. I can understand the vigilante mindset as well-I’ve felt it many times myself. And unfortunately, I think there will be an increase in vigilatism because of just how close people are to the boiling points right now.

    Just my two cents worth.

  27. comment number 27 by: TexasFred

    2) I can’t condone this pharmacist going back for another five shots. BUT it is not murder, it is merely manslaughter. To be considered murder, it has to have some degree of premeditation, over and above self defense, to qualify for that classification.

    WRONG!! He walked back in the store, walked past the guy, went into the back and either reloaded or got another gun and walked back out to the guy and put 5 rounds in him…

    Premeditation, he thought about it, that’s ALL you have to prove, and you can bet your ass, he thought about it…

    Heat of the moment, pull the gun and BOOM, premeditation, pull the gun, cock it and BOOM…

    pre·med·i·tat·ed (pr-md-ttd)
    Characterized by deliberate purpose, previous consideration, and some degree of planning: a premeditated crime.

    planned in advance

    Planned in advance… Notice, NO time frame on the planning, and anything past *spur of the moment* equates to premeditated…

  28. comment number 28 by: MissBeth

    I see that Fred, and that’s another place the scum lawyers are going to have a field day. Did he premeditatively have that second weapon there to murder someone or to defend. And unfortunately, those are the kind of word games lawyers will play.

    I didn’t say I condoned what he did-not by any means. i was simply trying to point out another area of spin that will most definitely be applied here. The leeches will concentrate on WHEN the second weapon was put there, they will use it as a loophole stating he put it there to defend not as a premeditated murder. And, unfortunately, they will most likely get away with it. Which sucks.

    FYI, we were taught in our gun safety classes (oh yes, when mom got her weapon, we were ALL required by her to join her in those classes), you use as few shots as possible to put your opponent down. One shot, one bullet. Not put them down and then use their carcass as further target practice. And I agree with that-the kid was still alive, yes-but it’s a lead pipe cinch he would never have robbed again-had he ultimately lived.

  29. comment number 29 by: sdo1

    The only problem with basing the murder charge on the video is that the perp still in the store can’t be seen after being shot the first time. We don’t know what he was doing when the druggist shot him upon reloading/rearming.

    If the druggist perceived a threat the shots were justified.

    I think pronouncements of guilt or innocence regarding the druggist are very premature.

  30. comment number 30 by: Gawfer

    Two words:
    excessive force.

    Unless the subject was a zombie who’s immune to a bullet in the head, the shooter should have called 911 and then treated him to the best of his ability. That is required by law of all medical professionals including Doctors, pharmicists, paramedics and anyone with a first aid card.

    With all that being said, his first mistake was not killing him with the first shot.

  31. comment number 31 by: TexasFred

    Some get it, some don’t…

    Some appear to have a less than acceptable level of reading ability and comprehension…

    What part of the guy was shot in the head, unarmed and unconscious did some of y’all miss?? Didn’t you watch the video?? The kid that was shot didn’t even put on his mask until he was in the store, he did NOT have a gun in his hand and the M.E. determined that he was UNARMED…

    I am seriously wondering about the real intentions of some folks…

  32. comment number 32 by: MissBeth

    Gawfer, you have a way of boiling it down quite nicely. I can never seem to grasp just the right words like you do. Absolutely correct on all counts.

  33. comment number 33 by: Gawfer

    I missed the video link Fred. Can you point me to it?


  34. comment number 34 by: TexasFred

    Comment #13 oh observant one…

    Gacias?? :?

    Gracias maybe?? :P

  35. comment number 35 by: Gawfer

    You know I’m missing a finger on my left hand… right about where the ‘R’ sits on the keyboard. I’m just lucky there were no ‘double spaces’.

  36. comment number 36 by: TexasFred

    Yeah… That’s it… Blame it on *The Finger*… :P

  37. comment number 37 by: jd3

    I totally agree with you on this one Fred…did I say that? He had a legitimate right to defend himself….he also had a right to maintain a watch and shoot again if there was any indication that the assailant might try something again before help arrived…but that doesnt’ appear to be the case…we all know from the movies not to turn your back on the bad guy….as to him getting off and public opinion there isn’t anyone amongst us that doesn’t like to see a story where the criminals get theirs…it represents Justice to us and it is gratifying to read….has this story ended there it would have been a good ending….but…he went to far…enraged or whatever….he murdered him….plain and simple…

  38. comment number 38 by: Mr Pink Eyes

    I agree with you on this. I also would not have a problem sleeping at night putting a bullet in the head if someone broke into my house and my family was at danger. I would have a problem with myself if I didn’t and something happened to my family. But once this man was incapacitated the danger was over and Ersland should have just waited for the police at that point. Unless the man was attempting to get up and come at him again but it doesn’t sound like that is the case.

    It is people like this who give the anti-gun crowd the ammo (pardon the pun) to come after those of us who choose to employ our second amendment right.

  39. comment number 39 by: cary - Botan Ichihara

    Well, it appears that most of the opinions have been registered.

    Me? I think the druggist didn’t use enough force in the first few milliseconds, waaaaay too much force when he returned to the store.

    And, if he emptied the pistol at the fleeing suspect, he put a lot of innocents at risk, since he obviously can’t hit anything more than ten feet away.

    For his initial actions, he did the right thing. For his secondary actions, put him away.

  40. comment number 40 by: Vincent

    With you on this one Fred. Thieves are dirtbags and if they are killed in the commission of a crime then I generally believe that they had it coming. They made the free will choice to commit the crime and therefore accepted the risks. But in this case, unless the dirtbag was thrashing around on the floor shooting or otherwise a threat, this was a clear case of murder. I’m sure they guy was feed up with the threat of robbers and in an excited state at least. I can understand the desire to do harm to a thief as we were robbed of most of our household furnishings when we returned to Texas. That robbery set us back a lot, we are still recovering from the financial loss and has put a serious strain upon my ability to provide for my wife and five children. But still, to come back and finish off a downed man is nothing less than murder.
    And Steve made a very good point that actions such as this put the Second Amendment liberties of everyone at risk. This kind of behavior undermines the credibility of responsible gun owners and even those who kill in legitimate self defense.