CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A pharmacist who fatally shot an armed robber in his drug store won’t face criminal charges, Kanawha County prosecutor Chuck Miller said Friday.

“The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department has interviewed witnesses and reviewed the video tapes of surveillance and provided those to the prosecuting attorney’s office,” Miller said during a news conference. “We have considered them and do not believe there are any criminal charges necessary to be filed against Mr. Don Radcliff.”

The suspect, Terry Gillenwater, entered the Good Family Pharmacy in Pinch on Wednesday morning wearing a mask. He pulled a gun and pointed it at the employees behind the counter. Radcliff was one of those employees, but was armed with a pistol and a conceal carry permit. He drew his .45 caliber pistol and shot Gillenwater three times.

After one shot struck Gillenwater’s shoulder, the assailant continued to point his gun. A second shot hit Gillenwater’s gun in the muzzle and disabled it. Gillenwater continued to point and try to shoot, but a third shot put him down. Radcliff and others immediately rendered first aid, before Gillenwater died at a Charleston hospital.

“Mr. Gillenwater had done some preliminary efforts to case the pharmacy,” said Miller. “He had done some search on his iPhone with respect to drugs in the pharmacy.”

Gillenwater had entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute OxyContin in December. The plea was deferred to allow him to enter a drug rehab program. The deferred status is designed to allow the charges to be dropped if the defendant successfully completes the course.

Miller said although every case is different, Radcliff’s action was reasonable. Under state law, Miller said everyone has the right to defend themselves against deadly force and the pointing of a loaded pistol a Radcliff and other unarmed, innocent customers and employees of the store met the threshold.

“We believe Mr. Radcliff was completely justified in his actions,” said Miller. “It’s unfortunate this young man died as a result of his own action, but that happens.

“I must say it took a great deal of courage for Mr. Radcliff to pull his weapon and fire in the face of a weapon being pointed at him that was fully loaded with a round in the chamber,” Miller said. “That takes a lot of nerve, but he was completely justified in doing so.”

bubble graphic

86

bubble graphic

Comments

  • John

    I owned a pharmacy. If someone pulls a gun on you, the threat is NEVER over. Even if the thug gets what he came for and is leaving. The biggest threat to his continued freedom is the people that saw and heard him commit the robbery. He could stop or even return to shoot people. He should be killed. Screw who he was or what he could have been. The important thing is that he's gone.

  • EK

    So then Jason,

    You suggest he should not have fired on the suspect. Would you rather he just stand there and allow all three of them to be shot? Giving him the pills/money/whatever does not guarantee he would not have shot the victims anyway. IMO, one less thug to victimize someone else in the future.

    Good guys - 1
    Bad guys -- 0

  • dreadful

    how is that guy supposed to rob and hurt people if people are carrying concealed weapons?

  • Marcus

    The article says he couldn't shoot back because his weapon was hit and rendered inoperable. Of course, this isn't something the pharmacist would have or could have known.

    This was handled as well as it could be given the circumstances.

  • Jason

    If it was just Don and the gunman fair enough shoot him.
    But the fact the 2 people were in front of Don he should of given him the pills.
    The gunman could of easily discharged a shot into the 2 workers.
    Also does the gunman shoot back? If he didn't shoot back after being shot it definitely shows he had no intention of shooting in the first place.

  • James Gittings

    Nice job sir!
    You saved yor life with that firearm. The fact that that bozo was robbing a drug store indicates that he was on drugs, hence more aggressive, hence more likely to attack.
    This case is very a young widow in Stroud, Oklahoma killing an intruder carrying a knife who had the intention of grabbing her late husband's cancer meds.

  • FC

    I'm sorry to say that Terry chose his own destiny, and for this he is gone. This is why we have concealed license, to save other lives. Terry could've gotten help if he really want it.

  • Fred_Flintstone

    Good job on this. Everyone has a right to protect their lives and even property. Hate everyone had to go through this ordeal but the robber should have thought about every possibility for performing this act. Glad it turned out like it did.

  • Matt

    Great point, but you are looking past one very important fact here. This "kid" had a loaded pistol with a bullet in the chamber. He walks in and puts innocent lives at risk. He has now graduated from drug junkie to armed robber. I HAVE NO SYMPATHY. As someone who has been held at gun point, I couldn't care less about those who have absolutely no respect for others.

  • Jake Blake's Hogs

    Maybe the bad guy should have stayed in bet that day. He got what he deserved.
    Pull a gun on me or my family and I will shoot you in the back while you are saying your confession.

  • Eric lyons

    Thank god it was a white man getting shot and that it was recorded. It wasn't really news here because of that.. I did find it a bit strange that in the ferguson debacle that not one citizen recorded the incident. 28 witnesses testified but not one witness whipped out their smart phone and recorded one second of the confrontation even though the incident continued for about 45 seconds. Had the officer been in the wrong we would of had many different recorded views. Beware of concealed gun permits criminals. There are more and more of us out there.

  • lzl

    Really sad that someone is dead. That kid is clearly just a junkie in need of a fix. I would have applaud had it been a professional gang-banger picking on the weak...

    Our society have a serious drug problem and we can't just shoot our way out of it.

  • Mark

    Spikes comment is what a would-be criminal would say, and the type of attitude which encourages more robberies.

    He got what he deserved. I would have shot him if he pointed a hair dryer at me.

  • brad

    Speaking from experience, I can say that the pharmacist will need all the support he can get. I was involved in a justifiable shooting, and think about the two men I shot almost every day. Although they both lived, I still wish it never happened. It's easy to say what you would or wouldn't do until it's go time and your looking down the barrel of a stranger's pistol.

  • JimJim

    Mr. Don Radcliff will need support. All his life he has help people, now he has killed someone. This will stay with him forever. He was right in doing what he did, but he still killed another human. That is hard to live with.

  • fam friend

    Not in the back.. in the abdomen. The perp was still holding the gun.. on his feet..attempting to shoot..and headed straight for costumers.

  • Truth

    Yeah, sure it is...

  • Paul from NY

    God bless that pharmacist. The dirtbag that died should have stayed in bed that morning. He's one less problem for society to deal with. Shot in the back or not, it was he who started it.....and it was the pharmacist who ended it. Well done.

  • Spike Isanidiot

    Low intelligence is why Spike is such an idiot.

  • spike

    I watched the video over and over it look to me like that the pharmacist shot the man in the back as he was running away .if so at that point was he trying to kill him IDK .if the guy wanted pills why not just give him what he wanted .let the police deal with it and maybe no one would of died that dsy

  • spike

    I watched the video over snd over it looked like the pharmacist shot the man in the back as he was running away IDK if this is the case it looks like at that point he was trying to kill him

  • JimK

    probably stolen

  • Jennifer

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d5c_1424394365

    This is the actual video regarding the shooting. Copy and paste into your browser.

  • deathtoliberals

    Dead perp equals REAL justice...F U to those anti gunners that would rather be victims...

  • RayK

    I am glad Mr. Radcliff will not be charged. He was justified to shoot the suspect. Mr. Radcliff is a hero and should be given an award.

  • Jason

    Radcliff should be commended for his action and courage. He did what he had to and had the grit to do it.

  • Gary Karstens

    Of all the options for a pie, I think I like boysenberry the best.

  • Skip Honaker

    If I had a chance to meet Mr Radcliff, I would
    love to shake his hand,and buy him some more
    ammo. Good Job !

  • sheila

    BRAVO!!! Well said!

  • Wildfire

    @Adam Smith
    You state: "This is embarrassing to the state of WV!"

    Nothing embarrassing about this act of public service.

    You state: "This person took a life, therefore he should be sent to jail for life!"

    Not TRUE!
    This fine person sent a violent predator POS, "Late to Breakfast in HELL".
    And Society was made BETTER for it!

    You ask: "What is he doing with a gun in a pharmacy anyways?"

    Just "Taking out the TRASH"! HURRAY! HURRAY! HURRAY!

    You state: "This person is a murderer!!!!"

    Hahahahahahahahaha! Not at all!
    He's a GOOD CITIZEN! That deserves an AWARD!
    Every violent predator that dies during their last crime, makes Society just a little bit safer, and just a little bit BETTER!

  • George Hilman

    Obama swings the other way, so it would have been a miracle for him to have a son even as good as Gillenwater.
    .

  • George Hilman

    J the C is a sick puppy.
    .

  • George Hilman

    Why would there be charges?

    Because, in case you haven't noticed, the system loves to charge people who were tending to their own business with "firearms crimes" when they resist an armed robbery.

    In case you have forgotten, in some jurisdictions, you have to "try to retreat" before resorting to the use of force to protect yourself and others. And, then, you have to throw your cash register or display case at the armed thug who is threatening you and others.
    .

  • George Hilman

    The system does not want to feed them. As to the possibility that one of these felons released into the community might commit an armed robbery and kill someone, well, there are lots of citizens left after some are murdered by these thugs. We have plenty of citizens. No big deal.

    Have you ever heard of a member of the ruling elite who has been killed by a released felon? I haven't either.
    .

  • Truth

    Either way, I doubt it was meticulously cleaned and maintained. I just don't see people of that ilk keeping things in good order. I mean they're dope heads, what do they care.

  • Jay

    appears to be a Sig Sauer . Hard to say but looks like a P226....about a 1000 dollar hand gun.

  • George Hilman

    “We have considered them [video and other evidence] and do not believe there are any criminal charges necessary to be filed against Mr. Don Radcliff.”

    If someone shoots an armed assailant, there is always a presumption of guilt on the part of the defender. As if having a weapon for very much needed defense is somehow suspicious, wrong, or evidence of evil intent. This is wrong and should be corrected by both the media and the "law enforcement community."

  • Rick

    He meant free after his previous conviction.

  • Truth

    Probably a cheap Hi-Point, or Kel-Tec or something, plus I doubt hopeless, thieving drug addicts clean their weapons often.

  • Randy

    Either a bad picture or one low quality firearm.

  • Huh

    What are you talking about, allowed to go free? And do you mean hoosegow? He was shot and killed, officially died at the hospital, but there was no chance.

  • Shadow

    While there was risk in taking on a man with a gun pointed at you, I have always felt it is better to go down fighting than to go down in cold blood. I am very happy his second shot disable the perp's weapon.

    It would be interesting to know why he was allowed to go free instead of sent to hoosegal.

  • mountainsurfer

    Good job gun nuts!

  • spike

    Guns don't Kill People
    People Kill People

  • spike

    Guns don't kill people
    People kill People

  • Cawoonache

    Once again, a bad guy with a gun is stopped by a good guy with a gun. Well done.

  • brian

    He's protecting himself and his business

  • brian

    He's protecting himself and his business moron

  • brian

    Pill head got what he deserved. More actions by simple civilians would prevent this bs.

  • Too Far Right

    I don't think they caught on to your sarcasm. Pretty sad actually.

  • Too Far Right

    It rained a little too hard today, darn you Obama.

  • J the C

    Gawd, you're one sick puppy!

  • Steven Michael

    Are you f*cking kidding me? He has a gun to prevent ass clowns like this dead punk to do what he attempted to do. Slam dunk! It worked. My only regret is not being able to see this piece of sh*t take his last gasp of air on video. Good shot, Sir!

  • Unga Bunga

    Chunter, your vote in 2016, will be in the majority. Don't worry though, you will still be eligible for at least half of your welfare check. I see catsup soup in your future though, unless you start being a contribution to society in the very near future.

  • TB

    Why would there be charges?

  • George Butt

    Adam so he should have let this no good drug dealer kill him and the coworkers. The guy got what he should have got.

  • Anastasia Beaverhaus

    I was just wondering how long it would take the bleeding hearts to start their squawking about some poor criminal losing his life. This is one of the finest examples of a law abiding Citizen practicing his Second Amendment Right. As for the dead criminal…. Tiff-Tuff maybe he should have gotten in line and worked the program the Courts gave him the chance of completing- Rehab. The more Armed Law Abiding Citizens that we have in our Country, the less armed criminals we will have still breathing.
    This pharmacist could have very likely saved the lives of all other people in that store. To the idiot that asked why the pharmacist had a gun- Did you overlook the most obvious problem, a criminal had a gun in that pharmacy (and that’s why he is dead) – The Pharmacist had a gun in HIS place of employment because it’s his right to carry it, with proper permits…. which he had.
    ....."The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -……

    It would appear that West Virginia doesn’t have that problem. Mr Radcliff is a Good American, our society needs more like him.

  • Rocko

    This a perfect example of why you get a permit to legally carry a gun!! This guy was supposed to be going to rehab..I guess you could say he graduated from the Goods Pharmacy School of Rehab!!! When you pull a gun on people you better be ready for what you got yourself into!! Hats off to Mr Radcliff....you sir have nothing to be ashamed of!!!

  • chunter

    your subtitle should be call "The things that idiots say"

  • Lemmy

    You say this as if anyone gives a good goddamn about anything you spew.

  • Gary Karstens

    I love contradicting myself.

  • ViennaGuy

    Defending yourself against an armed assailant isn't embarrassing; it's common sense.

    What IS embarrassing is that some people prefer to rob pharmacies for drugs as opposed to being productive, contributing members of society.

  • Adam Smith

    I would also pick the corn out of my hero, Obama's feces and eat it. Yum!

  • Unga Bunga

    If Obama had a Pill-billy Oxy freak of a son, he would have looked like Gillenwater.......

  • richard

    You are a moron. This pharmacist was totally legal in carrying this gun and totally justified in his actions. If you don't like the laws as they are written, get your group together and change the laws. Until then, keep your mouth shut and leave this man alone who was simply defending himself and those others around him.
    One less dope head to deal with.

  • bowhunter

    Peace be with you Mr. Radcliff. Do not doubt yourself in any way. Ask for help if you need it. And thank you for saving the lives of your coworkers. You will always be there hero.

  • Bill Higginbotham

    The best example of gun control!

  • Adam Smith

    My favorite tv shows are My 600 pound life, and Sisterwives, all those wives are so hot!

  • Adam Smith

    This is embarrassing to the state of WV! This person took a life, therefore he should be sent to jail for life! What is he doing with a gun in a pharmacy anyways? This person is a murderer!!!!

  • BOHICA

    Never pull a weapon, unless you intend to use it . Feel bad for the family of the deceased, but the good guy won. We all have a right to protect ourselves, our families, our home and our business.

  • Jonus Grumby

    They are called criminals Gary, and the citizens should be allowed to protect themselves from them.

  • truthperme

    Mr. Radcliff's co-workers' families should thank him for taking matters into his own hands and allowing their family members to return home. I hope Radcliff is able to move on beyond this. Taking another's life, even when they are up to no good and threatening your life is hard to assimilate. I know he had some compassion for this crook as shown by his attempts to then save his life after he had saved his and his co-workers' lives. Sad.

  • 2XLPatriot

    "Gillenwater had entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute OxyContin in December. The plea was deferred to allow him to enter a drug rehab program. The deferred status is designed to allow the charges to be dropped if the defendant successfully completes the course."

    That statement right there should prove that tax payer funded "rehab instead of prison" programs are going to be a waste of money and effort. Not to mention put more felons right back out there while awaiting a bed to empty in the rehab program.

  • nate the non-felon!

    Another pillheaded fool laying on a slab!! That's never been a bad thing!!

  • Gary Karstens

    Of course, all of the neo-cons squawk when I mention guns when a story on here is about a death by shooting. People say I am not being humane by "politicizing" the event.

    But good grief, look at all the comments now when a death has occurred. The feelings change and hypocrisy is well.....ok.

    YEESH!

    PLENTY OF POLITICIZING THE EVENT HERE!

  • Joe Kenda

    Sorry, I meant back in December.

  • Joe Kenda

    Through some internet investigating, I have determined with a significant amount of certainty that Mr. Gillenwater also robbed the Flatwoods BP back in March, if you look at those pictures the individual has the same build, jacket, and mask as those shown in the pharmacy video.

  • Troll

    You should also capitalize before the start of a sentence and end with a period.

  • Mike M

    I agree that Mr. Radcliff responded appropriately and Mr. Gillenwater received instantaneous and permanent rehabilitation.

  • Gary Karstens

    "also"....instead of "always"

  • Gary Karstens

    This may surprise a lot of you, but I don't believe the pharmacist should be charged with any thing. He did the right thing!

    The robber brought an instrument of death to rob, take and possibly harm people who were doing their job. He should have never brought an instrument of death for selfish reasons. It is now coming to light that he was given a second chance in life instead of doing jail-time. He instead chose to take this "opportunity" and commit more crimes. I believe this man always robbed a Flatwoods store. I think that will come out. This Gillenwater had roots in Braxton County.

    The pharmacist did the right thing. He protected himself and his fellow employers. If Gillenwater had not brought an instrument of death to the table, then this doesn't happen. YEESH! Gillenwater was a criminal beyond reason.

    My problem is with a society that has so many of these instruments of death. YEESH!

  • steve

    As well he shouldn't. Take that Gary Karstens-yeeesh

  • klynn

    That must have been really uncomfortable for the prosecuting attorney having those surveillance tapes delivered to his orifice.

  • Parole Officer

    They should schedule a BIG PARADE down main street.
    This shows you, always have your two buddies with you -
    SMITH & WESSON.

  • ThatGuyOVerThere

    Good for him...Great story. One less felon on the street.

  • bjorn

    He shouldn't be charged. He should get a medal!!!!!