Robbery Execution Style

December 18, 1995 the day that changed my life. Having a jewelry
store in Texarkana was all I wanted so I could pass my store down to
my son. It was a cold rainy day and during the week of Christmas
when two want a be gang members came in wanting to buy a cross for
there girl friend. My son who was 15 yrs old was visiting me and was
at the store when this happened.

They put a gun to my head and made us lay down on the floor with
towels over or heads. I was laying right beside my son. He was
shaking so bad the his body was not touching the floor. I was not
afraid " Fear not for I am with thee be not dismayed for I am thy
God" was in my mind. I had no Fear. As one boy, not man, stepped on
me the other was putting the loot in a trash bag.

As I was laying on the floor it got very quiet, I went to get up to
hit the alarm. They were sneaking out the back door and saw me. At
this time I told them not to shoot. I layed down and they covered my
head with the towel. I Last heard a gun shot and then they shot me. I
woke up with a warm sensation. I was laying in a pool of my sons
blood. The bullet had ricoched off my skull and was found in the
towel. My only son Deric at the age of 15 did not survive.

Soon I went a little crazy. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Never
heard of this. You seem to want to kill others because of the rage
inside. You don’t understand how you feel. The dreams were very bad.
You dream of always looking for your son and yet you never can fine
him. I simply feel this is the worst thing that could happen to a
human being.

I actually went back to work months later and could not. What to do?
Filed bankruptcy and was devastated. No help came from the community.
To this day I am on no medication and am doing well in Little Rock. I
tried getting married again but it failed, but I have a new son Cross
and a new wife. My son is Downsyndrome and I will not have any grand
children. Thats OK. He is the greatest son I could Have.

I am a contract jeweler and I love to make Jewelry this is my life.
Hope this story will help someone who has suffered a Lost.

Eric"s Fine Jewelry


I feel your pain. I am so sorry for what happened. My seven year old
son routinely comes into my store and helps out. He really does. He
sorts my scrap. First it was white from yellow gold, now it’s 10 from
14 karat. I throw into my little jar my scrap damaged stones as well.
He loves to find various gems in there. He know Sapphires from Rubies
from Emeralds etc. He knows not to touch the weapons and my
Rottweiler has run of the store. We usually have three people at
least in the store, one of which is the “security” guy. It could be
me, or my right hand man. But one of is is always ready for action. I
love this business, I love what I do. This is a happy job. I’m a part
of making milestones happen for people. The other part absolutely
sucks. We all go to work looking to make money to support our
families and yet there are always knuckleheads looking to ruin our
day-- or worse. Once again, I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine.

I hope everybody stays safe and has a fantastic holiday season.

Stanley Bright
A&M Jewelers
Baltimore, MD


I am so sorry for the loss of your son Deric.

Your story tugs at my heart, and I give thanks each and every day
for my blessings. On any given day, this could happen to any one of

Peace and love be with you this season.

Kay Taylor

Eric, I can’t say I know how you feel, but I do feel your pain. In
1984 my 3-yr old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Although I
don’t remember a lot of the next 5 years, I had another child a year
and a half later, a brother to my 7-yr old son. Both my “boys” have
grown up to be upstanding, wonderful, young men who chose terrific
wives. I am very thankful for my family. When I work on my jewelry
pieces, I often wonder what my daughter would have thought about the
new pendant, if the ring was hip enough, if she liked the bracelet
enough to wear it. One thing I learned through all the pain is that
no one can take away my memories. I will never forget her and will
live a life worthy of seeing her again.

Thanks for sharing about your son.


Eric…there are no words that can convey my sorrow for your loss.
God bless you and keep you. Mary


As many have said, words just don’t seem enough. It would seem that
somehow we are handed a deck of cards that is not always complete, so
to speak. You are a strong person and have been able to find another
pathway in the road of life. I am the godmother to an autistic nephew
& the survivor of an armed robbery. The robbery experience never goes
from away from my mind because I still work in retail but somehow-
like a chapter in a book, you are able to put it aside yet re-deal
with it when you have to. Daniel, our special guy, has taught my
husband & I many things and we are blessed to have him in our lives.
He has especially taught me how to listen better to what and how
people speak- since speech is very hard for him. We have found that
really enjoys carving and with Uncle John’s help- killer jack o’

Anyway, we wish you & your family musch love & happiness in the
coming years. If you ever come out to SF Bay Area, please know our
door is always open!!

Sincerely, Jo-Ann & John Donivan

Eric, Thank you, I’m so sorry. I cannot imagine a greater loss. I
lost my beautiful 19 year old daughter Stephanie 3 years ago this
week. She grew up in the studio; the old masters would put a pile of
books on a bench stool and give her projects to do. She was
immensely talented, an exceptional student with the promise of
greatness. She woke on the morning of December 18 not feeling well
and was admitted to the hospital with a 70 over 40 blood pressure.
She laid on a gurney, in the emergency room hallway, semi-conscious
with 1 bag of IV fluid for 5 hours without a visit from the attending
physician. 3 hours later she was dead. After nearly 4 months of
investigation, the medical examiner was unable to establish a cause
of death. In her stocking was a Christmas wish list for simple
things, like hand cream, it included a small pair of diamond
earrings, somehow I made them and placed them in her ears the day of
her funeral (Christmas Eve).

I do not remember anything that happened during those 4 months, I
went to the studio every day and I can’t tell you what I did, I know
that I tried to finish some Christmas orders that where on my bench,
and ruined them. I spent the remainder of the year making special
pieces for 3 of my other daughters. Now, 3 years later, I think I’m
normal again, until I read about someone else’s grief, and I realize
that I’m not. I miss my baby.

Jewellers spend their entire lives working until the last minute
every Christmas. I never had those beautiful days filled with
Christmas expectation with my children. Either I worked at the bench
until I couldn’t move or I managed stores until 11 o’clock ever night
before Christmas. It is always “n= ext year”. Stephanie and I will
have any “next years”.

Eric, I am sure that Deric is on your cheek, I wish you, all my
fellow jewellers, and their beautiful children the very best this

Dennis Smith


God Bless you and your family. The horror and loss you have
experienced is beyond comprehension for most of us. May you be
consoled by the spirit of Christmas and comforted by your God.

Dr. Mac

Hello Eric,

There is nothing anyone can say to alleviate your pain. You have my
full sympathy for such a great loss. I won’t go into details, but my
husband used to own a convenience store. One of his 20 year-old
college student employees was murdered during a robbery, and he has
never been the same. Just as in your case, no one could have
predicted the actions of the robbers. They were eventually identified
and tried; both were convicted. Now about every three years, my
husband and her parents have to appear before the parole board to
testify that these men should be kept in jail. They are forced to
relive the whole thing again.

The aftermath of these vicious robberies always seem to include
divorce, loss of the business, financial problems, and personal
mental misery.

I’m glad you have found some peace and another child. May you also
find joy in the good memories and live to make many more.

Judy in Kansas