Tulsa Family Blames Addiction For Accused Pharmacy Robber's Actions
TULSA, Oklahoma - The family of a man arrested this week for robbery says he's a good man who got off track because of a prescription drug addiction. Police shot Delricko Smart Tuesday when they say he ran from a Tulsa CVS Pharmacy and crashed into two police cars while trying to make his getaway.
Delricko Smart is in jail for the first time in his life. He's never been in any trouble before but is now accused of putting on a horror movie mask and doing take-over style robberies at least four area pharmacies.
His family isn't making excuses for him, they just want people to know the whole story.
"I don't think they've created a word to describe how the family feels," said Debra Cooper, Smart's sister-in-law.
Debra says Smart was injured in a bad car accident, then after that, stumbled while trimming trees with a chainsaw and nearly severed his leg. While dealing with that injury, he lost his job.
She says they noticed he'd lost weight but thought it was stress; they had no idea he'd become addicted to painkillers or become so desperate
Smart's pastor was equally shocked.
"Absolute total disbelief. I pastor a number of people and if they told me it was other people, I'd say that's possible, but just total unbelief," said Apostle Milford Carter, Delricko Smart's pastor.
Carter said this problem of drug dependency is devastating families and driving people to do things they'd never imagine.
"This is not a bad person. He did a bad thing. No one is condoning that. But he is not a bad person," said Apostle Milford Carter.
Smart's family and pastor believe the answer is getting Smart help, not sending him to prison for decades. They believe he can once again become the good man he's always been.
"I know he's a praying man, and you can't take that away from anyone, no matter where they are in life," said family member Debra Cooper.
Despite all this, the victims who were robbed don't care. They don't care about addiction or the reasons behind the robbery, they just know they were terrified and traumatized.
They tell me they keep reliving the robbery over and over, and all they want is a sense of justice and to feel safe again.