A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shooting on the Move

It was a warm morning on Feburary 7, 2009 in New Smyrna Beach Florida. At 10:15, pharmacist Jack Bosker was tending to his store, The Medicine Shoppe, and all was quiet when the dreaded moment came. Without warning, a masked man stormed through the door and down the aisle towards him, throwing a navy backpack over the counter. "Give me the fuckin' Roxie!" the desperate addict demanded incessantly, over and over. The hooded and masked man wore blue gloves and was brandishing a silver pistol over the counter gangster style for emphasis.

Roxicodone, or "Roxy," as it is known among pharmaceutical fiends, is a semi-synthetic opioid. Introduced on the US market in 1939 as a substitute for heroin and morphine, Roxicodone is still prescribed for moderate pain. It is also highly addictive.

Jack Bosker must have known the masked individual was highly unstable, a crazed animal with it's guts throbbing from the absence of it's drug. Jack raised his hands and went down the bottle filled racks behind the counter to retrieve the Roxicodone. The addicted criminal took little notice of Kenneth Smith as he pointed his pistol about. Smith, an unassuming and bespectacled man with a receding hairline and a plaid shirt, was standing at the end of the counter. The criminal waved his gun at Smith in cursory dismissal.

As the pharmacist returned with the white bottle full of the addicts lust, the criminal's attention was riveted on him. Kenneth Smith knew what he must do. Kenneth Smith came around the counter in an arc. As Smith made his move, the criminal tried to track him but it was too late. Kenneth Smith, a retired police captain with the New Smyrna Beach Police Department and a former Volusia County deputy was hired by the pharmacy as a security guard. Smith fired his handgun. Once. Twice. The armed robber, struck in the chest and leg, crumpled to the floor, his pistol clattering at his feet.

Keith Allen Higginbotham, the masked drug addicted threat was under control. A momentary convulsion rippled through his body, and he was still. Higginbotham was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics only minutes after he strode in the pharmacy. The shooting is still being investigated, but initial findings indicate the homicide will be deemed justified.

The Medicine Shoppe robbery can be seen from two angles i the video below. Between 0:25 and 0:26, Kenneth Smith can be seen drawing his pistol. In fact, it appears he may be chambering a round. Smith chose a time to draw when the criminal's attention was diverted. Then he acknowledged Higginbotham as the criminal's gun was swung towards him, Smith's own gun apparently hidden at his side. When the criminal focused on the returning pharmacist with the Roxicodone, Kenneth Smith had only a split second to make his lethal move before the criminal made one of his own. Choosing his moment, having a reliable gun in his hand, and being able to get quick hits on the move kept Kenneth Smith alive.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shooting, amigo! That is how it is done!

9:59 PM  
Anonymous perpster said...

Way to go Capt'n!

Notice the tattoo on the bum's neck. Might be a prison tat. Also, his hair situation smells of gang and/or supremecist persuasion. Would be interesting to see who shows up at his funeral.

Society has been improved and the gene pool filtered.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Good shoot! And yes, it does look like he is racking the slide.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

I also think Kenneth racked his slide. Interesting. Seems like Kenneth had a lot of time to prepare. I wonder if he did have the presence of mind to notice whether the BG's gun was cocked?

8:06 AM  
Blogger Grumpyunk said...

Wow! That video shows you where target fixation will get you. In this case it's a good outcome.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...


Question: how did paramedics pronounce him so quickly? You're saying from the time he walked in to the time EMTS were on scene and pronounced him was less than two minutes? I assume, then, the pharmacy is next door to the hospital? That's some response time...it took me longer than that just to write this!

Anyway, good show, Mr. Smith!

Mike Harbour
Helena, MT

9:16 AM  
Blogger Weetabix said...

Well done, Mr. Smith.

Fare the well, Mr. Higginbotham.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those guys had that situation rehearsed it seems.

Jack Bosker didn't even flinch when the shots were fired. He didn't make any attempt to fill up the backpack, approached the BG with a token medicine bottle held up high to get the BG's attention.

The female employee didn't panic or freeze, but went directly to cover, probably dialing 911.

Smith's position was partially concealed by that black bulletin board, which allowed him to draw without being seen.

The BG never had a chance... we should all learn from that; being prepared trumps luck!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

Good video quality.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

The 10:17 time seemed odd tome as well. Heck, most folks would still be gurgling.
I'm basing it on reports that the robbery began at approximately 10:15, and the first responders arrived at 10:17 (a very rapid response no doubt!) Reports say the perp was pronounced immediately by the paramedics. I kind of doubt it was that quick myself.

Anyway, I changed the wording a bit to give a little leeway for error.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legally justified shoot- yes.
Tactically sound-no.

Counters like the one in this shop are designed to help foil robberies. The pharmacist has to hold every order up to get it over the counter.
If the pharmacist had simply dropped down and moved away laterally he would have been out of the line of fire.
Second, there is rarely a good reason to leave cover to take a defensive shot. The guard completely exposed himself. Leaving cover to face a drawn weapon at less than 2 yards is simply stupid. The fact that he lived is not a testament to his skill but rather the lack of skill of his opponent.
If the guard had simply crouched and waited for the perp to come over the counter, he could have had a nice clean shot from cover.

Time of Death? In my area, you are not dead til you show some OBVIOUS signs of death and are asystole on a 12 lead. Not sure about that place. But here, unless the paragods were next door eating a hogie with the monitor under the table, ain't no way they got a 12 lead on him and called it under 2 minutes. Somebody's clock is off somewhere.

Good shoot but I still think the guy took an incredibly unnecessary chance.

3:17 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

another retired dirtbag...

3:42 PM  
Blogger Scott J said...

Certainly a sad situation. Addictions make you do strange things. Its a great thing that no one else was injured.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad times we live in, when even pharmacies have to have two legged, gun toting security, in order to do business safely. :(

9:21 PM  
Blogger Geoffrey said...

In answer to Chet, I have a hypothesis: background.

I work retail. Because there happens to be money and merchandise that someone might wish to take by force, it is something I've given some time to laying out avenues of response.
Yes, I do have the option of ducking behind the counter here. However, it is not ideal for returning fire. First, I can't assume that there will not be customers on the sales floor in my direction of fire. Second, there is a very busy street running next to the store in that direction with only window glass, irregularly placed product fixtures and walls of undetermined material between. As long as I have the choice, it's not worth the risk of engaging from behind the counter.
On the other hand, there are several avenues I can move to which will provide relative cover as well as known, practically unpopulated background.

Looking at the video, it's possible he wanted something similar.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous dandechino said...

I'm glad the innocent were protected and that the pharmacist was wise to think ahead and hire this guy.

2:17 AM  

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