“Oxycodone! Where’s the Oxycodone?!” yelled Brandon Galette, who had just burst through the door of Smithgall’s Pharmacy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, wearing a black ski mask and brandishing a 9mm handgun. It was a little after 2:30 p.m. on October 22 and Galette had brought along an accomplice, also wearing a ski mask.
Galette and his accomplice proceeded to wreak havoc inside the store, terrorizing customers, forcefully throwing a woman into some display shelves, and continuing to demand Oxy. The two suspects then marched into the back room of the pharmacy where Galette pointed the gun at four different employees.
For a second, Galette turned his back to Charlie Smithgall, the 72-year-old pharmacy owner and former Mayor of Lancaster. That was Smithgall’s chance. He retrieved his own handgun and fired one round at the armed man.
Instead of firing back with his own weapon, Galette lunged at Smithgall to disarm him. As an intense struggle ensued, Smithgall fired three more shots. Eventually, the 24-year-old did succeed in disarming Smithgall. Severely wounded, Galette pocketed the pistol and fled the store. He then collapsed on a nearby street, where he was found shortly afterward by police, who provided medical treatment for multiple gunshot wounds before transporting him to the hospital.
Smithgall, like the woman who’d been shoved, suffered severe bruising and swelling all over various part of his body — but no gunshot wounds.
It may interest TTAG readers to learn that Smithgall, besides being a business owner and public servant, is a serious curator of antique weaponry. In fact, he graciously loaned several cannons, along with some antique firearms, to Steven Spielberg for the film Lincoln.
Galette has been charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm, firearms not to be carried without a license, and seven counts of simple assault. His accomplice is still at large. The investigation is still ongoing and authorities are still determining whether any charges will be filed against Smithgall. We’re guessing the answer will be no.