An Alabama pharmacist is being hailed for her handling of a hostage situation at a Red Bay store Tuesday.
Donna Weatherford was taken hostage by a gunman along with four other employees early Tuesday morning. The gunman was later identified as Christopher Trail, 28.
The incident began just before 9 a.m., when Trail entered Redmont Pharmacy and asked if they were open.
Trail forced four of the store’s employees in to a back room before demanding drugs from Weatherford.
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“We were praying," Jessica Young, an employee, told WSFA. "We were all praying.”
Weatherford gave Trail all the drugs he wanted. Or, more specifically, the ones that would get him to doze off. Shortly afterwards he fell asleep in the store, enabling Weatherford to grab his gun and walk outside.
“It's so wonderful that everybody got out safe,” stated J.C. Weeks, the pharmacy’s owner. “I can't say enough about the pharmacist that was here she controlled the situation all the time she talked him into releasing the other hostages and she stayed with him until he was able to be apprehended.”
Trail was taken to hospital to be treated for an overdose, but was due to be checked in to Franklin County jail today, WSFA reported.
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Red Bay Chief of Police Jana Jackson said they were considering the possibility that a burglary earlier Tuesday morning resulting in the theft of a shotgun was connected.
“These are situations we don't have often here, but we do know that they happen and we train for situations like this and it was intense knowing there was an innocent victim inside with relatives outside,” explained Jackson. “It was just a high intense situation and we had a lot of people in the community praying for this situation and we just thank God everybody was safe.”
Witnesses said that armed police surrounded the pharmacy during the incident, while local businesses were put in lockdown, WSFA reported.