City-employed security guard killed in overnight shooting

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Police were called out to the Wayne Street parking garage just before 11:30 Sunday night on reports of shots fired.


When they arrived, they found sixty-two-year-old Robert Pulliam Jr, dead.


According to investigators, Pulliam noticed someone behaving suspiciously inside the garage. They had “an encounter” that ended with Pulliam getting shot.


Tonight, people who live and work in the area are still trying to process what happened.


“Yeah, it’s real close to home! We’re just an alley apart!” said Greg Batalis, who worked at The Blarney Stone right next to the parking garage turned crime scene. He said he hasn’t seen violence like this in that area before.


“In the summertime, kids like to ride their motorcycles up there and stuff like that, but never no murder or people getting beat up, anything of that nature,” Batalis said.


Pulliam had only worked security at the Wayne Street parking garage for “only five or six months,” according to Jason Swift, who knew him better as Bob.


They were both members of IATSE local 187, where Pulliam also worked as a stagehand.


“He was just everybody’s buddy,” remembered Swift. “Everybody loved being around Bob and everybody certainly knew when Bob was around, because Bob was a loud one.”


Swift said that Pulliam was tough, and worked hard.


He was a former steel worker and Marine Corps veteran who also loved the arts, and rigged lights for shows at the Morris Performing Arts Center, Notre Dame and other venues around town.


“It’s gonna be very quiet now at Morris, not having him be that figure,” said Swift.


His death made neighbors feel uneasy.


“It makes you want to keep your guard up even more now,” said Batalis. “You have no choice! It’s a crazy world we live in.”


“Stuff like this shouldn’t happen,” Swift said. “We shouldn’t have these issues here in South Bend. It’s getting out of hand.”


Both Swift and Batalis hope the South Bend police Department will be able to do something more to keep people safe downtown.


The SBPD’s Violent Crimes Unit is handling the investigation. No details have been released about a possible suspect.


If you know anything about Pulliam’s shooting, you are urged to contact the SBPD Detective’s Bureau at 574-235-9263, or you can leave a tip with Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.

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