Pharmacist battles suspect for gun during Rite-Aid robbery; Suspect arrested

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Police arrested a suspect in the armed robbery of a downtown pharmacy Wednesday night. Police also charged a second suspect with accessory after the fact.

Detectives say the Rite Aid on East Bay Street was robbed just after 8 p.m. Wednesday. A pharmacist tried to detain the suspect after wrestling him for the gun.

On Thursday, police arrested Nikita Street, 26, of 1823 Leland Street, North Charleston and charged him with armed robbery. Mona Wright, 29, of 1815 Central Park Road, is charged with accessory after the fact.

Based on surveillance video, police observed the suspect dressed in a white overcoat, multi-colored dress, a white "baker's hat," and sunglasses. The suspect also had a tan handbag and was wearing black sneakers and white socks.

Police said the suspect walked to the back of the store and presented a white piece of paper to the cashier that said "My wife is dying. I need Oxycontin." At that point the pharmacist approached the suspect who demanded Oxycontin. The pharmacist then went and retrieved several bottles of Oxycontin.

At that time, the suspect glanced at the front of the store and then the pharmacist grabbed the firearm from the suspect's control and they proceeded to struggle for the gun. The pharmacist jumped over the counter while still in control of the firearm. They continued to wrestle as the suspect fell to the ground.

The manager came to the back and helped detain the suspect, but he fled out the right door with the Oxycontin. Police recovered the handbag, a sock and the hand gun upon arrival.

The pharmacist was transported to East Cooper Medical Center with a leg injury.

According to police, Wright called Charleston Police and reported that between 7:30 and 8 p.m. someone stole a handgun and a purse from her unlocked SUV, which was parked at 1815 Central Park Road. The investigation revealed that the serial number of the stolen handgun matched the serial number of the handgun that was found at the scene of the Rite Aid armed robbery on East Bay Street.

According to Wright, Street told her to report the handgun as being stolen. She apparently didn't know that the gun was used in the robbery. Further investigation led to the arrest of Street, who is a friend of Wright.

They both are being held in the Charleston County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

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