Pharmacist who shot robber: “Why did you make me do this?”

RUSTY MARKS | Gazette photos
Kanawha County Sheriff Johnny Rutherford said a man attempted to rob the Good Family Pharmacy, in Pinch, at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, but was shot by a pharmacist. The pharmacist, Don Radcliff, rendered medical assistance until the would-be robber was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Deputies B.K. Howery (left) and A.C. Pile inspect evidence after the attempted armed robbery of the Good Family Pharmacy, in Pinch. Police say the pharmacist, Don Radcliff, pulled out his own gun and shot the would-be robber, who later died at a hospital.

PINCH, W.Va. — A Kanawha County pharmacist shot and killed a masked, would-be robber who walked into his business Wednesday morning and pulled out a gun.

Good Family Pharmacy employee Chris Monk said pharmacist Don Radcliff first attempted to “feel the guy out.” Monk said Radcliff pointed at the man, who was wearing a bandanna over his face, and was “just kind of joking with him,” saying “Are you here to rob me?”

The suspect pulled out a gun in response.

Radcliff, who had already started reaching for the gun under his white pharmacy coat, just in case, opened fire.

He fired three shots. The first hit the suspect’s chest, the second hit his gun, jamming it, and the third hit the suspect’s abdomen. One employee said the suspect was trying to shoot back during that time.

The whole incident happened within a matter of seconds.

Radcliff and a pharmacy intern tried to render aid, but the suspect later died of his wounds.

As Radcliff tried to stop the bleeding from the suspect’s chest, he said ,“Why did you make me do this?” and “I didn’t mean to do this,” according to employees who were there.

The incident occurred at about 9:45 a.m. at the small but busy pharmacy, located at 242 North Pinch Road. It did not close after the incident. The employees swept up the glass from a broken window, then returned to assisting a steady stream of customers.

“We cleaned it up pretty quickly and got back to work,” Monk said. “There was no blood — just the glass.“

Pharmacy owner Joe Good, who was on his way to the pharmacy when the shooting occurred, took over, while Radcliff went home for the rest of the day.

“He’s a lot more tore up now that he found out the guy died,” Good said.

The pharmacy has never been robbed before, but employees do prepare for the possibility.

“It’s always in the back of your mind,” Good said. “You just try to be prepared for it, because it happens.”

Sgt. Sean Snuffer, of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, said the suspect was taken into surgery but died at CAMC. His identity will be released once family members are notified.

Snuffer said charges will not be filed against Radcliff.

He said the case is being sent to the office of Kanawha Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Miller for review.

Reach Erin Beck at, 304-348-5163 or follow @erinbeckwv on Twitter.

Reach Rusty Marks at, 304-348-1215 or follow @rusty_marks on Twitter.

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