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Priest Killed in California Town

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Reverend Eric Freed of St. Bernard’s Catholic Parish in Eureka, California was found dead in the rectory of the church yesterday. The priest failed to show up for morning Mass, and someone was sent to check on him.

According to the Times-Standard, Police Chief Andrew Mills has confirmed that his department is pursuing a murder investigation in connection with the death of the priest. The priest’s car was also stolen during the crime.

“It’s a violent crime and obviously, with this kind of response, we’re taking it very seriously,” said the Chief.

As of right now, no one is in custody. However, Eureka police have now issued a warrant for one Gary Lee Bullock in connection with the murder.

According to a local news site, the warrant contains these further details:

On Dec. 31, 2013 BULLOCK was the subject of a radio call regarding a person who was acting strangely in the Garberville area of southern Humboldt County. Humboldt County deputies located and arrested BULLOCK for public intoxication. He was taken to jail where he was rejected due to his erratic behavior.

BULLOCK was then taken to the hospital for evaluation where he became more agitated and had to be physically restrained by deputies. BULLOCK was ultimately booked into jail at 1634 hours.

Gary BULLOCK was released at 0043 hours on January 1, 2014. At about 0200 hours officers from Eureka Police Department were dispatched to 615 H Street, regarding a suspicious person. Officers contacted BULLOCK nad found that BULLOCK was not intoxicated and did not qualify for an emergency psychological hold. Officers referred BULLOCK to an emergency shelter for the night.

Later that evening a security guard heard noise in the area of the church and went to investigate. He saw a person matching BULLOCK’s description and directed him to leave the property after a short conversation.

At about 9 AM officers were dispatched to to the church Rectory where parishioners found Reverend Fathers Eric Freed badly injured. Officers and a doctor, who is a parishioner at St. Bernard, observed that he was deceased. The exact cause of death has yet to be determined and an autopsy is scheduled for Saturday. It does appear that there was blunt force trauma to the victim.

EPD’s investigation into this homicide has revelaed that forced entry was made into the parsonage and a violent struggle ensued. The pastor’s vehicle was also noticed missing during the crime scene search.

Image via St. Bernards Parish

Priest Killed in California Town
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  • LMConde

    This person was conveniently bounced back on the street when no one wanted to hassle with him. Probable cause would have been appropriate in this case. Many times a person will get thrown to the ground, tazed, cuffed or even getting thrown in a cell just for being “unruly” with the police officer! Come on!

  • http://yahoo MaryWilder

    This man should have been kept away from Society that night, and not just let go! This is a terrible tragedy and a big screw up by the Police Dept. and others involved! Shame on them!

  • Solari

    I read this article on another site of course the first person to respond had to claim more to the story hinting the priest was probably
    guilty of pedophilia..I was gonna say get your mind out of the gutter..a man was murdered..and the killer was thrown out of jail for being unruly?? oh come on people..since when do people get tossed out of jail for being unruly..but the comments were closed down..

  • matt smith

    guns should be allowed not taken away, period….

  • bamboe

    The police officers followed the law. If this person had been arrested and held for something that he might do in the future, some of the same people commenting that the police did not do enough, would be then be calling the cops Nazis.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Police are used to it.

    In the meantime, all Firefighters are Heroes.

  • http://Yahoo Noreen Lundeen

    This is not unual, many clergy work alone in their churches and will not turn away someone who needs help.
    Our society does not get dangerous persons off the streets, it coats too much in a society based on greed,
    and what is called “free enterprise” nothing is free.
    My priest (a women) if often alone after dark, I pray that she does not let anyone in that she does not know,
    but then again I would not be surprised if she did.

  • Fuck

    He was not jailed because he did not have weed on him. Alcohol is acceptable… drink all you want!

  • Tatiana

    Sorry ,i am from Russia,last i worked in police,sorry/
    we need to pray that criminal man will be find.
    sorry me,but there are extrasens on working in police,and i think that police need find else young man 17-18 years ago which went in church several days ago,he lives in 3 streets from church.