11/15/2006

W.Va. man overpowered by hostage during standoff

By Tara Tuckwiller
Charleston Gazette

STOLLINGS- A gunman who held six people in a Logan County pharmacy for hours Monday afternoon was overpowered by a hostage after he grew drowsy from some of the drugs he went there to steal, police said Monday.

Police never had to fire a shot to apprehend Jeffrey Harvey, 31, of Logan, who fired four shots before he was overpowered. The hostages were unhurt.

Harvey had consumed several of the pharmacy's Xanax and Lortab pills - he told hostages he wanted to kill himself with pills - and he had a head injury, police said.

Harvey was being assessed at Logan Regional Medical Center Monday evening. His injuries "don't appear to be serious," hospital CEO Kevin Fowler said.

Police said Harvey walked into the Family Discount Pharmacy in Stollings with a sawed-off shotgun and a small handgun around 1 p.m. Several people immediately fled the store.

Jessica Thompson, a pharmacy technician, was one of the six people - four workers and two customers - who didn't initially make it out. She hid under the counter with three other women.

Harvey told them to get up, she said: "He probably told us three times. Then he said he wasn't playing - get up."

Harvey took the hostages to the store's office, police said. He made the hostages move a filing cabinet in front of the locked door for a barricade, Thompson said.

"He said he didn't want to hurt us. He wanted to kill himself," she said. "But he didn't have enough money to buy the pills himself."

Copyright 2006 Charleston Newspapers

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