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.”

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  • 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

    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!!!!

    • 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!

    • brian

      He's protecting himself and his business

    • brian

      He's protecting himself and his business moron

    • Too Far Right

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

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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 sir have nothing to be ashamed of!!!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Adam Smith

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

      • Adam Smith

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.



    • Gary Karstens

      I love contradicting myself.

  • 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.

    • Joe Kenda

      Sorry, I meant back in December.

  • Mike M

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

  • 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!

    • Lemmy

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

    • Jonus Grumby

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

      • 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.

    • Gary Karstens

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

      • Troll

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

  • 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 -

  • ThatGuyOVerThere

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

  • bjorn

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