A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Robbery Victim Charged with Murder

An Oklahoma City pharmacist has been charged with first degree murder after shooting a robber 6 times. The prosecutor says the first shot was justified, but the defender went too far when he shot the teen 5 more times with a .380 caliber pistol while he lay unconscious on the floor. "I do not want the charging of Jerome Ersland with first degree murder to have a chilling effect on any person legitimately in a position to defend themselves from an assailant," Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said in a news conference.

On May 19, 2009, Antwun Parker and Jevontia Ingram, both teenagers burst into the Reliable Discount Pharmacy wearing masks and carrying a gun. The pharmacist, Jerome Ersland, shot Parker in the head, and then chased the other threat out of the pharmacy. When he returned, the robbery victim took up a second handgun, and shot the fallen robber five more times in the abdomen.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater asserts armed robbery victim was justified in shooting Antwun Parker once in the head. However, Prater claims Mr. Ersland broke the law when he shot Parker again while the teen lay unconscious on the floor. Mr. Ersland says the injured criminal was attempting to get up. He further states he grabbed the second handgun before he chased Jevontia Ingram from the phatmacy.

Ersland's attorney, Irven Box, says his client was protecting himself and two women inside the pharmacy. In court, the District Attorney showed a security video (seen above) in which two criminals burst into the pharmacy. One criminal is shot. Ersland is seen chasing the second man outside. Then he walks past Parker to get a second gun. Finally, he is seen firing at Parker again. The autopsy found Parker was still alive after the head shot and died from the stomach wounds.

Mr. Ersland did not burst into Antwun Parker's place of business to kill him. Antwun Parker came to Mr. Ersland forcibly demanding money and drugs while placing an innocent victim's life at risk. Nobody has forgotten who the aggressor was, nor who the victim was. Even so, the victim may well lose everything because a teen aged punk decided to victimize him.

It is often taught that a threat must be shot until it is no longer a threat. The security video does not show the last seconds of Antwun Parker's wasted life. If it did, Mr. Ersland might never have been charged. Unfortunately, the video does show the actions of Mr. Ersland. These actions are open to interpretation. Mr. Ersland has posted $100,000 bail after a preliminary hearing. His attorney believes a jury will rule in the pharmacists’ favor.

Labels: ,


Blogger R Ryan said...

It will be interesting to see when all the facts come out how this case develops. I've never been in a self-defense situation and so can't speak to how people react when the adrenaline is pumping.

However, based on the facts we have so far it does not sound good for the victim to come back and shoot the perp 5 more times when he's already down with a head shot.

While I don't think this qualifies as first degree anything (which measn premeditation in most jurisdictions), but it does sound like the victim was no longer in danger.

However, as I said, we don't have the facts yet.

7:59 PM  
Blogger dude said...

I swear if someone says Antwun Parker was a "good kid" I'm going to scream. An honor student that does charity work who then tries to murder/rape/rob citizens no longer has ANY redeeming qualities.

As far as the DA that brought this crap. I pray that someone still tries to save Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater or his family from those who would them harm.

8:03 PM  
Blogger R Ryan said...

Here's another news story that says:

"Ersland also kept a much larger pistol in a nearby drawer, which he was able to retrieve, a Taurus Judge revolver. At that point, the second robber took off. However, the other robber was now getting up off of the floor, despite the head wound.

Ersland emptied his clip into the chest of the wounded robber, who turned out to be 16-year-old Antwun Parker."

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Somehow, I don't see an Oklahoma jury convicting.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Scott said...


Things might change a great deal if the angle on the camera was just a wee bit different.

In some states, due to the felony murder rule, the other perp, who never fired a shot could have been charged with the murder. Here we have a case that's just not cut and dry.

My thoughts:

1) A headshot is not always lethal or even enough to take someone out of the fight, particularly with a .380. A headshot could easily mean an ear graze or another shot that simply enters the head at a weird angle and destroys a lot of soft tissue (cheeks, etc.) and is certainly enough to stun someone, but not enough to kill or take out of the fight.

2) That said, this kid hadn't demonstrated he was armed... yet. Was it reasonable to believe he was? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'd throw my vote in the "yes" category with some reservations.

3) What movement, exactly, was the kid making? We can't know - it's off camera. Was he reaching for his waistband, where the shooter could have believed he had a weapon? Was he just writhing on the floor? Was he making a threatening move? Was he just reaching for his (painful) head wound?

4) "Premeditation" is interpreted very broadly in some states, and no specific time period is generally required. Premeditation could consist of simply aiming the weapon, cocking the hammer back, or reaching for a weapon with the intent and plan to do violence. The line between a first degree, premeditated murder and a second degree murder can be very, very blurry.

Just from the video and brief description, I'd say the shooter's defense attorney is probably right - if he gets this in front of a jury, he just might win it. The "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard is a high hurdle indeed, and out of 12 people, at least one is more likely to place his trust on the shop owner's side of the story.

But there are two eye witnesses. There is a shooter who may have a violent past (although getting that in may prove difficult). And there is a kid who may not have needed to die. There's an awful lot that can change for the shooter, and I doubt the DA made this decision lightly in a state where self defense is a big issue (consider his admonition that the first shot fired was A-OK).

There just isn't enough information available yet to make a call. But I've got to say that things could turn on the shooter quite quickly.

And, strictly from the personal defense point of view, why the HELL did he empty his magazine then? That kid's friend could have come back for some revenge, and he would've been left with a slide-locked pistol and a stupid expression on his face. We're talking about a .380 here - he needs every round he can get, and he's pouring them like crazy into a kid that's on the ground?

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Stiff Man said...

That's my "sticking point" with what I have read about this in the news - that he (IMO from the video) calmly walks past the kid on the floor and then returns to alledgedly shoot him again five times in the torso.

If I were a juror, I would have to think about the evidence presented during the trial long and hard. I am pro-self-defense, but the limited information that I have makes it look like an execution.

And I agree with "dude" above - I would prefer not to hear "good kid" either. If he was, he wouldn't have been involved in soemthing like this (IMO).

11:52 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Here is what I know. Two people intent on doing harm entered the building, and a law abiding citizen defended himself by taking down one man and chasing the other from the building. The pharmacist then came back and had to shoot the first guy again.

This is what we can not tell. Was the criminal out of the fight ie dead or injured so badly he could not continue? We do not know because of the angle.

Was the criminal no longer a threat to the people in the store and the pharmacist? Again we do not know because of the camera angle.

The last shots that the pharmacist fired, were they really in self defense ? On this one we can know pending an autopsy. If the criminal was killed by the head shot, then it doesn't matter, the other shots were not what killed him. If the stomach shots killed me, it still doesn't matter, it just proves that the criminal was shot and the pharmacist defended himself.

The thing is this, it is really whether or not I believe a well educated, legal law abiding citizen, or do I believe what the prosecution is saying, even though there is no video evidence. My answer is clear.

Self defense is self defense whether it was the first bullet that killed or the last, a good guy prevailed and a scum bag is no longer here to terrorize us all...don't give him a cell, give him a medal and some free ammo.

12:04 AM  
Blogger lowly said...

If you're the pharmacist the first thing to try to remember after the shooting is to how to shut up and let your attorney do all the talking.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Mikael said...

"And, strictly from the personal defense point of view, why the HELL did he empty his magazine then? That kid's friend could have come back for some revenge, and he would've been left with a slide-locked pistol and a stupid expression on his face. We're talking about a .380 here - he needs every round he can get, and he's pouring them like crazy into a kid that's on the ground?"


From what I've read, I've deducted(perhaps erroneously, perhaps not) that the headshot was with the .380, and then after that, when the other guy ran, he grabbed a more powerful taurus revolver from somewhere before giving chase, and it was that which he emptied into the perp when the perp allegedly started moving from where he was lying.

Thus, if the other guy came back, at least he still had ammo left in the .380, though the more powerful revolver would be empty.

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Bob@thenest said...

Given the conflicting/absent information (was he getting up/did he have a gun) and the obviously subjective judgements that had to be made at the time, I think Mr. Ersland's demeanor at trial is going to have a lot to do with the result.

If he comes across as looking for trouble, or looking for revenge, he's probably toast. But, if he looks like a victim who was in trouble, in fear for his life, the jury may well identify with him. I'll bet his lawyer has him in some intense acting classes in the conference room.

If nothing else, this is a good example of the difference between shooting to kill and shooting to stop. I hope I can remember that critical difference if it ever happens to me.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Baba55 said...

Reasonable Doubt for a criminal case for 1st degree homicide?


Civil "wrongful death" case? Does OK law have a castle doctrine law which protects property owners "after-the-fact"?

If not, Mr. Ersland will be in a legal & financial whirlwind soon hereafter. (But at least he's alive... right?)

7:52 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

Couple of points from a longtime OKC area resident:

1) David Prater is NOT one of "those" DAs. He even argued with the judge at the bond hearing when she forbade Ersland from keeping a gun while awaiting trial. In addition, there was another self defense shooting in the metro area which Prater cleared the day after the case was referred. He is most certainly NOT anti self defense.

2) Ersland had severe diarrhea of the mouth to the press after the incident, and some of his statements apparently did not match the video.

If you haven't watched the video, please do so before commenting.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Armed Texan said...

Here are the two key pieces of evidence that make me fall on the side of the pharmacist, with some reservation:

1) We can not see the actions of the perp and almost any action at that point could be interpreted as threatening.

2) The idiot DA, out to make a name for himself I'm sure, over charged. Even if the pharmacist did come back and shoot an unconscious perp, he should not be charged with more than voluntary manslaughter. First degree murder is ridiculous and will hopefully cause the jury to acquit. At worst, the pharmacist killed an unconscious perp because he was still pumped with adrenaline and in fighting mode.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Where is the BG guy's gun? Did it go out the door with the runner or is it still in the store with the Wounded BG?

If the gun is out the door then he was at fault in the law's eyes. sucks but true..

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Windy Wilson said...

Yep, this is a hard one. This is a sort of Rodney King case without the cops. Even with videotape, the really important questions that MUST be answered just aren't to be found on the videotape. As Scott and Anthony allude to, the factors that affect the reasonableness of the decision cannot be found on the videotape.

4:21 PM  
Blogger R Ryan said...

This just in: felony murder charges against the other perps.


Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater files additional murder charges in pharmacy shooting Prosecutors today charged two adults and a 14-year-old boy with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a teen killed in a May 19 robbery attempt.

Emanuel Dewayne Mitchell, 31; Anthony Devale Morrison, 42; and Jevontia Ingram, 14, now face murder charges in the shooting death of 16-year-old Antwun Parker. Parker was killed by pharmacist Jerome Jay Ersland during an attempted robbery of Reliable Discount Pharmacy, 5900 S Pennsylvania Ave.

5:26 PM  
Blogger R Ryan said...

Here's a vid of the perp's mom. According to her: "He made friends every where he went".

Well, everywhere that is except that pharmacy


5:39 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

I have an acquaintance (someone I’ve trained with) who was home alone one evening when he heard the proverbial “breaking glass.” He armed himself with a 1911 pattern .45 and investigated. What he found was 2 BIG BAD guys ransacking his home. He issued a command and when they rushed him he fired several shots hitting both men. One was Dead Right There, the other, although injured, managed to make an escape. The police were called and the other perp was found shortly thereafter and arrested. The reason I am sharing this is because the good guy DID NOT chase the bad guy who ran away. The good guy DID NOT shoot the bad guy running away in the back. The local DA was so impressed with his self control that he recommended the good guy for a medal, which he got. The moral of this story is – get professional training and practice – practice – practice.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Sans Authoritas said...

Does it really look like the pharmacist appeared shocked and startled, like the guy was going for his gun? It looks to me like he calmly walked over and shot him several times at point blank range, then immediately turned his back and walked away.

It does not look at all like legitimate self-defense.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

The DA must be an freaking democrat.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

To answer an earlier question: Yes, Oklahoma's Stand Your Ground legislation does include civil immunity absent a criminal conviction.

ArmedTexan: please re-read my comments about the OK County DA. He's not one of "them", and has a good reputation with both the LE community and general populace. Tulsa is another story, though.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

A jury is a very interesting thing. The defense attorney wants certain people on it and the DA another type of person. I think the victom even if he makes it thru the criminal charges will be looking at major civil legal matters - as most of these things do. The victim didn't start it but looks like his timing for ending it has the DA feeling they have to do something more - at least so far.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Thanks Jay --- I just saw your comment --- Stand Your Ground Law - wish that was everywhere.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's simply no way to tell what's happening, because we can't see the BG. However, the pharmacist chased after one criminal, then shot a potentially incapacitated perp right after that. Regardless of the actualities, this looks overly aggressive. The DA will paint him as being out for blood.

I don't think I could return a guilty verdict based on the evidence available but I couldn't call it a good shoot either.


10:34 PM  
Blogger Chris M said...

The DA just may be doing the pharmacist a favor. If the pharmacist is acquitted in the criminal trial he will have immunity from civil lawsuits. Otherwise he'd have to worry about Antwun's momma suing him in civil court where the standard of proof is much, much less.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Babymamas who named those kids "Jevontia" and "Antwun" doomed them to the gangstah life. The Thugg Life was their destiny, bitches. At least in this case one of THEM was senselessly killed. It is normally the innocent white person in a car jacking incident, or the Asian clerk in a convenience store who is gunned down in cold blood.

And how very chivalrous of Jevontia to leave his "best friend" bleeding on the floor.

Oh, I'm sure they were honor students, future basketball stars, rappers, good kids and whatnot.

One cannot pry the microphone from the hands of the media-addicted babymamas. Where dey daddys at?


Free Ersland and fry the gangstahs.

Jus' sayin', not hatin'.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a registered pharmcist (RPh) for over 25 years now and have 'carried' when the job allows it. All I can say is that Antwun got what he deserved. Remove thieves from the gene pool and I'm willing to bet that crime will go down.


6:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link