Relatives of the man suspected of the Medford pharmacy killings reacted to news of the arrest Wednesday with disbelief and stunned silence.

Alan Laffer was shocked to learn that his nephew had been jailed in connection with the slayings.

"I hope there's nothing to this; that's all I can say," said Alan Laffer, 53, of Congers, N.Y.

He said he's seen David Laffer, 33, only a couple of times in recent years and wasn't aware of any drug abuse problems.

The father of Melinda Brady, David Laffer's wife, didn't know about the arrest until a Newsday reporter approached him outside his West Sayville home.

Charles Brady, 61, took a deep breath. "OK," he said after a long pause. "In that case, I better call my wife."

Brady declined to comment further.

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Pam Laffer, a computer aide at Medford Elementary School, shared her home with her son and his wife of two years. She could not be reached for comment.

Family friend and neighbor Zaida Ayala said she often let her grandchildren play in the Laffers' yard.

"Quiet, keeps to himself, cleans the yard, mows the lawn," she said of the suspect. "Never a word, never a curse.

"Totally shocking."

With Patrick Whittle and Jennifer Maloney