Officials announce suspect arrested in parking garage shooting
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The suspect accused of shooting and killing a security guard in a downtown South Bend parking garage is now behind bars.
“Based on all of the evidence, the state believes that we have sufficient information to charge Mr. Pratcher with this homicide,” says Kenneth Cotter, Saint Joseph County Prosecutor.
The 33-year-old from Elkhart was tracked down Monday, the day after Robert Pulliam Jr.’s murder, thanks to photos Pulliam took on his cellphone just minutes before he called 9-1-1.
“There was a photograph there that was taken two minutes before the 9-1-1 call was made,” Cotter shares.
Pulliam died before he could respond to the dispatcher on the other end, but the photos captured the suspect’s vehicle and license plate number, which was identified as a Hertz rental car.
“Hertz was able to ping that vehicle and found that that vehicle was in Vandalia,” explains Cotter.
Authorities in Cass County were contacted, who then found Pratcher with the car and the gun allegedly used in the crime.
The homicide sparks concern for the safety of security workers who may not be equipped to defend their lives, if need be, but officials say it wouldn’t have made a difference in Pulliam’s case.
“Bob was doing his job,” says Chief of Police at the South Bend Police Department, Scott Ruszkowski. “He was doing it for his company and for the city of South Bend, and what happened to him was not his decision, it was somebody else’s.”
“In this case, the most heavily armed person in the world would have still been killed based on what Mr. Pratcher did,” Cotter says. “He shot him from behind, he shot him when he was turned away.”
Now Pratcher faces four charges in Pulliam’s death, giving his loved ones a sense of closure.
“This process moves into our criminal justice system to provide some level of comfort to the family and loved ones of Robert Pulliam Jr,” says South Bend Mayor James Mueller.
Pratcher is set to appear in court at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in Cass County before being extradited back to Indiana.