Pharmacist Charged With Murder After Shooting Robber

Wednesday, May 27th 2009, 8:41 am
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City pharmacist is facing a first-degree murder charge after shooting back during an attempted robbery.

Jerome Ersland, 57, was charged Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court.

He is accused of killing Antwun Parker on May 19 when Parker and a friend tried to rob Reliable Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City.

Ersland said he shot Parker to save his own life and the lives of his co-workers.  He said Parker and another man came into the pharmacy wearing masks and demanding money and drugs.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said that Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker once in the head.  But Prater said Ersland went too far when he shot Parker five more times in the abdomen while Parker lay unconscious on the floor.

Had Ersland's first shot been fatal, he would not face charges under Oklahoma's Stand Your Ground Law, Prater said.

However, Prater said security video shows that Ersland chased the second man outside before returning then walked past Parker to get a second gun before going back to fire the fatal five rounds into Parker's abdomen.

Watch the video for yourself and listen to the DA's explanation.

Police reported Parker was not wielding a gun at the time he and the second robber stormed into the pharmacy, but the video shows that the second robber was.

Ersland's attorney, Irven Box, says Ersland was protecting himself and two women inside the pharmacy.

"Finally someone stands their ground and takes action," Box said. "The state said he was still alive.  He's not dead.  He eliminated that threat.  He eliminated someone who came in and said, ‘Your money or your life.'"

Oklahoma City police did not find any evidence that the armed subject fired any rounds at Ersland or the store.

Ersland will have a bail hearing Thursday morning.

The second suspect is still on the run.  The district attorney says if and when he's caught he'll be charged with attempted robbery in the first degree.

More on
- Employee Shoots at Robbers: 1 Killed, 1 at Large
- Read the text of Oklahoma's Stand Your Ground Law