In a 2009 phone call from the back room of an Oklahoma City pharmacy, a frightened employee told a 911 operator, “We're being robbed!”
Seconds later, five gunshots rang out in the background.
“Please, there's gunshots going off,” employee Jeanne Read pleaded to the operator. A moment later, she added, “The pharmacist has a gun and he might have shot him.”
In a separate 911 call, the pharmacist, Jerome Jay Ersland, told the operator, “Emergency. People down. … Hurry. One of them crooks got away. I got one. He's dead.”
Ersland, 59, was found guilty May 26 of first-
The verdict has received national attention. It also renewed a public debate over the pharmacist's actions. Many say his conviction is an injustice.
Oklahoma City police on Tuesday released to The Oklahoman the two 911 phone calls made May 19, 2009, from inside the pharmacy. Jurors at Ersland's trial did not hear either call.
Jurors did see silent security camera recordings that show Ersland shot one robber in the head and chased a second robber outside. Jurors were told he fired three shots outside the store at the fleeing second robber.
The security camera recordings show he returned to the store, got a second gun and shot the fallen robber inside five more times. The 911 call by Read captured the sound of those last five shots.
Killed was Antwun “Speedy” Parker, 16, of Oklahoma City.
Prosecutors told jurors Ersland was wrong to shoot the robber again because the boy was unconscious and not moving on the pharmacy floor. Defense attorneys said he courageously defended himself and two female employees.
Prosecutors also contended at trial that Ersland lied to police and the media when he claimed both robbers had guns and both shot at him. Prosecutors told jurors the evidence proved only the robber who fled was armed and only Ersland fired any shots.
In his 911 phone call,
The operator asked, “What is your name?”
He replied, “My name is Col. Jerome Ersland.”
Ersland retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2000 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, his military records show.
Ersland spoke to the operator about two minutes. He described Parker as dead four times. Sirens can be heard in the background at the end of the call. The operator said, “We've got officers on the way out there.” Ersland replied, “OK. Thank you. Bye-bye.”
Read, 50, only saw one of the masked robbers before fleeing to the backroom. The 911 operator asked her, “Did he shoot inside your store?” She replied, “Yes.”