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Court docs say former Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall was the one who shot robber in his pharmacy last week

LANCASTER — Former Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall has been identified as the person who shot a man who was attempting to rob his West Lemon Street phar...
Charlie Smithgall Running For Mayor

LANCASTER — Former Lancaster Mayor Charlie Smithgall has been identified as the person who shot a man who was attempting to rob his West Lemon Street pharmacy last week, according to a criminal complaint filed by Lancaster Police Tuesday.

The criminal complaint included charges against the robbery suspect, Brandon Galette, who remains in serious condition in a Lancaster-area hospital, according to LancasterOnline.

Galette, 24, of Harrisburg, is charged with felony counts of robbery, theft, aggravated assault, and illegal possession of a firearm.

Initial police reports said only that Galette had been shot by a clerk in the store, but the probable cause affidavit identifies Smithgall by name as the store employee that shot Galette.

Brandon Galette_graphic

According to the criminal complaint:

  • Galette and a second, unidentified male suspect entered Smithgall’s Pharmacy on Oct. 22 at about 2:40 p.m. They were wearing black ski masks, black hooded sweatshirts, and black pants.
  • Galette brandished a handgun, pointing it at a customer and a clerk at the store’s counter. He grabbed the customer by the back of the neck, violently shoved her into a display shelf, and then put her on the ground. He was yelling “oxycodone, where’s the oxycodone?” witnesses said.
  • Galette and the other suspect went to the back room of the pharmacy, where Galette pointed a 9 mm handgun at Smithgall and three other people who were nearby. He continued to demand the location of the oxycodone.
  • When Galette briefly turned away, Smithgall retrieved a firearm and pointed it at Galette, who responded by pointing his weapon at Smithgall.
  • Smithgall then fired one shot at Galette.
  • Galette lunged at Smithgall and began fighting with him for possession of Smithgall’s weapon. Smithgall fired three more shots during the struggle, which lasted about 30 seconds and ended when Galette took possession of Smithgall’s weapon.
  • Galette then fled from the store, still carrying Smithgall’s weapon, which he hid in the pocket of his sweatshirt.
  • Galette dropped his own weapon during the struggle with Smithgall, and left it at the scene.
  • Officers arriving on the scene found Galette lying on the sidewalk on the 300 block of North Pine Street, near the scene of the robbery. He was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and was detained by officers, who provided medical treatment.
  • Police found Smithgall’s weapon in Galette’s sweatshirt pocket when he was detained.
  • The customer at the front of the store, who was shoved onto the ground, suffered bruising and swelling to her face, right knee, right ankle, and left elbow.
  • Smithgall, 73, suffered severe bruising and swelling to both forearms, his left breast, and the right side of his back. He also suffered a cut to his right hand.
  • Police recovered a handgun witnesses said Galette used in the robbery inside the pharmacy. It was a Taurus 9 mm Slim that was reported stolen in a gun store robbery by State Police out of Lewistown.

Galette is 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.

Lancaster Police are still searching for the other suspect, who fled after Smithgall fired at Galette. Police are working with investigators from York and Harrisburg to see if the suspects can be connected to robberies in those locations.

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