At Haven Drugs, a sad anniversary marked
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Pat Taccetta arrived at Haven Drugs in Medford shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday carrying a pink rose, a small pink candle and a framed picture of her daughter Jaime, who died inside the pharmacy on Father's Day 2011.
Jaime Taccetta, 33, of Farmingville, was the last victim of David Laffer, who robbed Haven Drugs of pain pills when he fatally shot four people -- employees and customers. Taccetta, a customer, was shot in the back moments after she entered the store.
Among the roses and other items left on the bench in front of the closed store was one from Sheffield's daughter Laura Bustamante, 50. "To my Dad," the card read, "I love you and I miss you. Love always, Laura."
Pat Taccetta, of Shirley, went to the Medford shop after visiting her daughter's grave at a Coram cemetery. She said she planned to return Tuesday -- the first anniversary of the shooting -- at 10:21 a.m., the exact time of her daughter's death.
She still struggles with her daughter's death, which remains fresh in her mind, Taccetta said. "It's like it was yesterday," she said.
James Fegel, 44, Jaime Taccetta's uncle, stopped by the pharmacy around 1 p.m., carrying artificial purple flowers to mark the Father's Day anniversary.
"It's rough," he said. "It's rough for the whole family."
Others who stopped by the store, which did not open for the day, weren't family or even friends of the victims. They just felt compelled to come, they said.
Maria Irizarry, 22, of Holtsville, who didn't know any of the victims, stopped by to pay her respects. "My prayers are with you," she told Fegel as he placed the flowers on the bench.
He thanked her and quietly left.
Mejia's sister, Lesly, told Newsday she was reluctant to go to Haven Drugs. "Just getting near the pharmacy gives me chills," she said in a telephone interview, adding that her uncle and aunt on her father's side arrived Saturday night from Los Angeles to be with the family.
She said she was touched when she heard that people she had never met had stopped by the pharmacy.
Jeff Wade, 48, of Medford, said he didn't know any of the victims but felt he needed to go to the store Sunday. "This was a big event for Medford," he said. "I hope it doesn't happen again."
Billy McDermott, 56, a Medford native, left two framed copies of a poem for the victims.
"It's really sad," he said of the shootings. Like Wade, he didn't know of Ferguson, Mejia, Taccetta or Sheffield, or their families, but he authored a poem on their behalf titled, "Gone to God."
It began, "Dear God, Dear God, We are Raymond, Jennifer, Bryon and Jaime" and ended, "Take our hand, take our soul."