Police: Lancaster pharmacy clerk pulls weapon on suspects during armed robbery

LANCASTER, Pa. -- An afternoon attempted robbery at Smithgall’s Pharmacy on Lemon Street in Lancaster took a turn when the store’s clerk pulled a gun on the two robbers.

"The clerk inside Smithgall’s brandished their own weapon and fired shots at one of the armed robbers," explained Chief Jarrad Berkihiser of Lancaster Bureau of Police.

Lancaster police say the clerk shot one of the suspects more than once.

"I came downstairs and saw the cars and I saw the pharmacy closed down, and I thought, ‘oh! Something must’ve happened at the pharmacy,'" said Rich Bradford, who lives near Lemon Street.

The timing and location of the incident shocked some people in the area.

"It’s shocking people were so bold to do this right in broad daylight," explained Kathryn Bard.

Bard's daughter lives on Lemon Street.

“It’s pretty crazy! I mean nothing ever happens in this neighborhood," added Bard.

Police say both suspects ran down Pine Street, but they found only one of them shot.

They say he was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries.

The fact that this happened at a pharmacy, owned by former Lancaster City Mayor Charlie Smithgall, made some wonder if the men targeted the store.

“We’ve had other armed robberies in the city, other pharmacies in the city, actually, which have been robbed in the 25 years I’ve been here actually, so yeah, I don’t think this is politically motivated at all because he was a former mayor," explained Chief Berkihiser.

Although police say the second suspect took off, neighbors shouldn’t be alarmed.

“They came here in broad daylight to Smithgall’s Pharmacy on the corner a major thorough fare in the City of Lancaster, so this definitely, this was their target," he added.

One other person inside the pharmacy was also taken to the hospital, but not for a gunshot wound.

Police say if anyone has information related to the shooting, contact them at 717-735-3301 or Lancaster Crime Stoppers at (800) 322-1913.

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