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Druggist Jerome Ersland's story varies

Nolan Clay Modified: August 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm •  Published: August 2, 2009
© Copyright 2009, The Oklahoman

A pharmacist’s explanation of what happened May 19, when he fatally shot a masked robber, keeps changing.

Jerome Jay Ersland has given three versions so far, The Oklahoman found in a review of his statements to news reporters and to law enforcement. The latest came in a letter last month to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

"I was under so much stress,” he told The Oklahoman in a July interview. "It had just been so rough ... that I couldn’t remember exactly what had happened until later. And, then, it gradually comes back to you over the days and weeks.”

The shooting sparked a national debate in May when Ersland was charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors allege he went too far, shooting the unarmed robber five more times after knocking the robber unconscious with a shot to the head.

Ersland, 57, of Chickasha denies wrongdoing. He has been described as a hero by some for his actions at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City. Killed was Antwun "Speedy” Parker, 16, of Oklahoma City.

Ersland insists the injured robber was awake and still had a gun after being hit in the head. He said he shot Parker again to protect himself and two female employees. He has said he thought Parker had already shot him in the wrist.

But he has given different accounts of what Parker did after being shot in the head and of when he shot Parker the second time.

First account
A police report shows he told a detective May 19 that he shot Parker again before chasing a second robber out of the store. "Ersland said he ran by the one he shot ... and that he ... was ‘still up there and wanting to hit me,’” according to the police detective’s report on the interview. "Ersland ... said, ‘I unloaded on him’ and he ... went down. He then chased the other subject ... out of the store.”

"He just kept staying up,” he is quoted as telling the police detective about why he shot Parker again. The detective said the pharmacist referred to Parker as "the guy I nailed.”

Second account
Ersland’s account changed after prosecutors publicly released a security surveillance video that shows the pharmacist shot Parker again after chasing away the other robber.

Ersland said in a nationally televised interview on Fox News that he shot "the guy laying down” again after coming back in the store. "I went up to him and he seemed to be just dazed,” Ersland told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on June 1. "And he started talking to me and he started turning to the right. has disabled the comments for this article.

Jerome Jay Ersland wrote to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on July 8 because it suspended his permit to carry a concealed weapon. In the four-page typed letter, he asked the OSBI to reverse that decision. He wrote that because of his expenses in his murder case he will not have enough money to get his permit reinstated "when justice prevails.” He told the OSBI that "after all” a judge already forced him to give up "every gun I owned” because of the murder charge. He said the judge’s decision has left him defenseless against gang members. "I ... have no protection against the Bloods that have threatened me numerous times,” he wrote.

Ongoing coverage: Pharmacy shooting


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