A clerk foiled a robbery Tuesday afternoon at Smithgall’s Pharmacy in Lancaster city by shooting one of two alleged robbers, hitting the man several times, police said.
The other alleged robber, who was wearing a black mask and black clothing, fled the West Lemon Street pharmacy and remained at large at last report Tuesday.
“They came to the store on a mission,” police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser said of the suspects.
Medics rushed the wounded man to Lancaster General Hospital, where police said he was in surgery late Tuesday afternoon. As the suspect was being carried on a stretcher, he was yelling as if he were in pain, a witness said.
Update: Police identified the man shot in the robbery attempt at Brandon Galette, 24, of Harrisburg, in a news release Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly afterwards, former Mayor Charlie Smithgall, the pharmacy's owner, walked out of his business at 536 W. Lemon St. with what appeared to be blood on his shirt. He gave a wave to onlookers, sat on a stretcher, made a phone call and was taken to a hospital. Police said Smithgall was not shot.
Police would not immediately say whether it was Smithgall or one of his employees who shot the suspect.
Police said both suspects fled the pharmacy. Officers found the wounded man on the ground along Pine Street.
Police recovered a handgun they believe was carried by one of the suspects.
Police were checking pharmacy video footage. No Lancaster Safety Coalition surveillance cameras are in the vicinity of the pharmacy, police said.
Emerson Standish, who lives in the neighborhood, said he saw a man on the ground at Pine and Walnut streets. Police set up a crime scene there.
Police set up crime tape on Pine Street between West Lemon and West Walnut streets.
County radio dispatched first responders at 2:41 p.m.
Cheryl Waldeck, a West Lemon Street resident for 13 years, was talking about the incident with neighbors.
"Nothing ever goes on in this street," she said, calling it "shocking."
Smithgall, 72, a gun collector, was a two-term mayor of Lancaster city, winning election in 1997 and 2001.
A 1963 graduate of McCaskey High School, Smithgall operated the pharmacy his father started in 1916.
Kelly Burkholder, spokeswoman for School District of Lancaster, said two of its schools are fairly close to Smithgall’s: Wharton Elementary School at 705 N. Mary St., and Reynolds Middle School at 605 W. Walnut St.
Both schools briefly went into an exterior threat lockdown, she said: “No one can enter the building or exit the building, but classes were still running as usual internally.”
The lockdown was lifted after officials knew that there was no threat to students, she said.