Armed Pharmacist Ends Robbery Threat

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posted on June 22, 2015
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“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out if you’re (a pharmacist) selling drugs in this day and age you should have a gun on you.”

Those sage words of advice were told to reporters after the attempted armed robbery of a pharmacy in Kansas City, Mo. June 16, coming from owner and head pharmacist Pete Spalitto.

Local media reported a woman entered Spalitto’s Pharmacy around noon Tuesday carrying a bag and wearing a mask. She told Spalitto’s son, who works at the counter, she had a gun and demanded drugs. The elder Spalitto, who was busy with another employee at the time, did not initially realize a robbery attempt was was taking place, but then the woman demanded Oxycontin from him.

Without hesitation, the pharmacist calmly walked to the other end of counter where he retrieved his handgun and pointed it at the woman.

“I pointed it at her. I come into a good position behind the counter. I pointed it at her head,” Spalitto told KCTV. “She says, ‘I’ve got a gun in this bag.’ I said, ‘I’ve got a gun too!’”

At that point, the woman fled the store empty-handed, and Spalitto gave chase through the parking lot, albeit unsuccessfully. Surveillance video captured images of the suspect and a maroon SUV, which authorities said may be connected with other local pharmacy robberies. The bag she was carrying–containing a toy gun–was recovered at the scene.

No shots were fired, and no one was injured in the incident.

Spalitto’s Pharmacy is a third-generation business. Pete Spalitto’s grandfather was killed during an armed robbery more than 45 years ago.

“It’s a family business. I lost my grandfather in a robbery in 1969, so I’ve always been prepared, and I’m glad I’m independent, where I’m able to carry a firearm or have something here to protect myself,” Spallito told KMBC-TV. “A lot of other pharmacies don’t have that option available to them.”

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