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Former Lancaster mayor will not be charged after shooting suspect during attempted robbery at his pharmacy

Charlie Smithgall Running For Mayor

Charlie Smithgall is shown in a 2013 file photo

LANCASTER — Former Lancaster mayor Charlie Smithgall will not face any charges for shooting a man who was attempting to rob his pharmacy last month, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

The shooting occurred when Brandon Galette, 24, of Harrisburg, and another unidentified suspect attempted to rob Smithgall’s Pharmacy on West Lemon Street on October 23.

Galette, who ran from the store after being hit by one round, was found lying on a nearby street by officers responding to a reported attempted robbery at the store. He is charged with felony counts of robbery, theft, aggravated assault, and illegal possession of a firearm.

Initial police reports regarding the incident said only that Galette had been shot by a clerk in the store, but the probable cause affidavit filed the following week identified Smithgall by name as the store employee that shot Galette.

According to the criminal complaint, Galette and the other suspect entered the store and demanded access to oxycontin, pointing a gun and Smithgall and three other people. Smithgall was able to draw his own weapon when Galette’s attention was elsewhere. He fired one shot at Galette, who dropped his own gun. He and Smithgall then engaged in a brief struggle for Smithgall’s weapon.

Smithgall fired three more shots while struggling with Galette for possession of the gun, the criminal complaint states.

Galette eventually gained possession of Smithgall’s firearm and fled from the store. The gun was in his possession when police found him, according to the criminal complaint.

Smithgall, 73, sustained severe bruising and swelling to both forearms, his left breast, and the right side of his back. He also suffered a cut to his right hand. A customer at the pharmacy, who was shoved into a display case during the incident, suffered bruising and swelling to her face, right knee, right ankle, and left elbow.

The second suspect in the incident fled from the store and remains at large, authorities say.