Independent pharmacist discusses Va. Beach robberies

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Sadness has fallen on many, local independent pharmacies. Many say pharmacist David Kilgore, who died during an armed robbery Monday, was a friend or associate.

“To find out David had been shot made me uncomfortable, not just because we worry about ourselves, but we worry about people in pharmacy,” said owner of Olde Towne Drug Center Pharmacy, Ron Woods. “We worry about his family and the employees who work at that pharmacy.”

Pharmacist David Kilgore
Pharmacist David Kilgore

The robbery that led to Kilgore’s death is a reminder to many that being a pharmacist is a job of great risk. It’s not because of what they do, but what they have inside the pharmacy.

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“It’s an unsafe job at times because of the fact that we deal with narcotics, Oxycontin, or anything with a codone in it,” said Woods. “There are a lot of people out there who will kill to get the drugs, to sell it, take it, or use it.”

Woods has owned the Oldtowne Drug Center Pharmacy on High Street since 1990. He’s never been robbed, but he is always conscious of the possibility: “We are a target for people who want narcotics. There are only so many places you can go to steal narcotics.”

That is part of the reason the pharmacy has several security motion detectors around all the drugs behind the counter.

“We also have several cameras everywhere,” said Woods. “If someone comes in here, they are going to be on a digital recording, whether it is coming, or going, or standing or robbing.”

Woods said the pharmacy also has a plan in place in the event they are ever robbed: “Our employees and everybody here have been told, ‘Let them have it.’ We can protect our life, soul and be happy that we are all alive. Let them take the drugs, let them take the money.”

Kilgore’s death has heightened the awareness of security, but hasn’t changed pharmacists’ desire to help.

“I ‘m not going to let it change my perspective of being a pharmacist or helping the community or doing what I like to do,” Woods said.

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