Categorized | Crime, Local

Suspect of Slain Priest Taken Into Custody

 

Gary Lee Bullock Released From County Jail Just Hours Before Slaying

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Authorities have taken into custody a California man who they
believe killed a Roman Catholic priest in a Eureka church rectory,
the Chief of Police said. 

He was taken into custody in Southern Humboldt this afternoon.

Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills announced Thursday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Gary Lee Bullock, asking for the public’s help in tracking down him and a 2010 Nissan hybrid belonging to the slain priest.

The previous day, the Rev. Eric Freed was found dead in the rectory at St. Bernard Church in the coastal Northern California city.  While he hasn’t given a motive, Mills elaborated Thursday that Freed died after suffering “blunt force trauma” following a “violent struggle.”

His gruesome death — which the county coroner official ruled a homicide on Thursday — has shaken many in and around Eureka, both members of the parish he served, the nearby university where he taught and the community at large.

“Eric knew as well as anybody just how senseless violence could be,” said Wiliam Herbrechtsmeier, a professor at Humboldt State University where Freed had taught since 2007.  ”When a fine person like him is brought down– that’s just tragic.”

Bullock wasn’t unknown to local authorities;  in fact, he’d been in custody earlier on the same day that Freed was found dead.

Police explained that, on New Year’s Eve, Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a person “acting strangely” in Garberville.  They went to the scene and arrested Bullock for public intoxication, taking him to a jail where “he was rejected due to his erratic behavior,” Eureka police said in a press release.

Bullock — who last known address is in Redway, California — was then moved to a nearby hospital “where he became more agitated and had to be physically restrained by deputies,” police added.  He was eventually booked into a jail shortly after 4:30 p.m. that day, staying there for over 8 hours before his release at 12:43 a.m. on January 1.

Less than two hours later, police got a call about a suspicious person at St. Bernard Church.  Officers found Bullock but, as he wasn’t “intoxicated and did not qualify for an emergency psychological hold,” didn’t detain him but instead referred him to a shelter, Mills said.

At some point in the hours after that, a guard at Freed’s church found a person matching Bullock’s description on the premises and told him to leave, police said.

It was at 9 a.m. that authorities were called back to St. Bernard, this time after church staff came across Freed– who officers and a doctor, who happened to be a parishioner, both determined was already dead.  Mills said police later determined there were signs of “forced entry” and the aforementioned struggle.

Hours later, mourning parishioners and community leaders gathered outside the church-turned-crime scene to remember the late priest.

Mayor Frank Jager said Freed was a personal friend and
a “tremendous person in this community” since his arrival
three years ago.  

The 56-year-old’s loss was felt deeply elsewhere as well.

“He was a really, genuinely warm individual,” said professor Stephen Cunha, the chairman of Humboldt State University’s religious studies department where Freed taught. “… Kind is the word that comes to mind, sensitive.”

Just a few days ago, the priest sent a note to his parishioners, thanking them for their support and prayers and wishing them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

“I cannot tell you how proud and honored I am to be your pastor,” Freed wrote in a letter posted on the parish website.  ”Our parish is alive, joyful and full of faith, hope and charity that define us as Catholic Christians.”

While he was relatively new to St. Bernard, Freed had already made an impact there and elsewhere around Eureka– including with the city’s Japanese-American community, as Freed lived in Japan for many years– Jager told reporters.

“This is an absolutely tremendous loss not only for the St. Bernard’s Parish, but for our community generally,” the mayor said.  ”For those of us who believe in prayer, this is the time for that.”

Freed’s ties to Humbodt State went back even longer.  A guest lecturer, he wrote a book about the first atomic bomb and also taught about the New
Testament, connecting with Christians and non-Christians alike.

“He was very well respected, very well liked and had a tremendous working knowledge as well as academic knowledge,” Cunha said.  ”… To think that he passed in this way: It’s just layers of grief and shock.”

Herbrechtsmeier said he got to know Freed well not just at Humboldt State but outside as well, often joining the enthusiastic pastor– a diehard University of Southern California Trojan fan– to watch sports and enjoy some laughs.

Noting that students at the state university loved Freed, who was also deeply involved in that school’s Catholic student group, the Newman Center, Cunha added:  This was not some stuffy clergyman. He was very much someone that you could sit down and speak with…

“He connected with everybody.”

 

(Via Yahoo and CNN News)

See also our other articles: 

One Slain Priest and the Lost City of Crime and Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail

Please share, link, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

One Response to “Suspect of Slain Priest Taken Into Custody”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] EPD announced an arrest warrant for the murder of Father Eric [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • What's happening
    The Smithsonian's African American History Museum will help you determine if your junk is culturally significant Low-income drivers face higher auto insurance, even when they have clean driving recordsJohn Cleese  analyzes Fox NewsCalifornia ends higher penalties for crack vs. cocaine   A good reason not to live in Louisiana: - Police in Louisiana are u […]
  • Number of world's wild animals halved in part 40 years
    The Guardian - The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.“If ha […]
  • White House abuses free press again
    CBS DC  - First lady Michelle Obama appeared with Burke in Milwaukee...Meg Kissinger, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, posted on Facebook that she was told by a White House aide that she was not allowed to talk to people in the crowd.“Assigned to cover Michelle Obama’s speech today and was told by a Mary Burke aide and one for the White House t […]
  • Bill Gates compares America's students to electric plugs and railroad tracks
    Robby Soave, Hit & Run -  Bill Gates was atypically direct about what peddlers of standardization are trying to accomplish during a Politico event. Rather than defend Common Core from accusations of creeping nationalization, he finally confirmed that yes, this is exactly what Core proponents are trying to accomplish—less local autonomy is a good thing, a […]
  • Yale Episcoplian chaplain forced to resign for not being a Zionist
    Mondoweiss […]
  • How one cop chatted with another before killing a homeless man
    KOB, NM - Two hours before Albuquerque Police Officer Keith Sandy shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd, he was recorded telling another officer that he would shoot Boyd in the penis with a shotgun. Sandy responded to the scene on March 16th where Boyd refused to come down from a makeshift campsite in the foothills near Tramway and Copper.  At the scene […]
  • The nameless war
    Paul Shinkman, US News - When asked most recently whether the military operations in Iraq and Syria had a code name, the Pentagon spokesman continued what has become a string of blunt answers.“No. It has not,” Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. He added, “I know of no plans at this time to name it.”And so, what could be one of the defining battles of the early […]
  • Why Moral Mondays is important
    Amos Brown, Indianapolis Recorder -  “Moral Mondays” is a movement born out of a struggle of people dealing with an inflexible, ultra-conservative, overwhelmingly Republican Legislature and Governor in North Carolina.In the Tar Heel State, the organization combined activism, peaceful civil disobedience and intense grassroots communications and lobbying to st […]
  • Why Netanyahu is full of it about Hamas and ISIS/ISIL
    Juan Cole:1. Hamas has foresworn attacks on the United States and other Western countries, presenting itself as a national liberation movement against Israeli military occupation (an occupation that has lasted since 1967 in Gaza). ISIL on the other hand has called on radicals to attack the US and Europe.2. Hamas has joined a national unity government with th […]
  • Race to the bottom
    The top of the worst, based on actions, stats & statements over the past year  Republicans Ted Cruz John BoehnerRand Paul  John McCain Paul Ryan Mitch McConnell Darrell Issa Marco Rubio Chris Christie Mike Huckabee Scott Walker […]
  • Maine healthcare cooperative proving a success
    Portland Press Herald, ME -    Maine Community Health Options will offer insurance through the federal marketplace to people throughout New Hampshire next year, a move made possible by a major federal loan and local success that has surprised industry experts and allowed the company to dominate the Maine market.... Cooperatives are an often-overlooked compon […]
  • The health effects of climate change
    take Part - The Journal of the American Medical Association, the voice of the nation’s powerful medical establishment, has issued a call to arms to doctors, urging those in health-related fields to throw their weight behind climate change prevention efforts.... The editorial accompanied a new JAMA study that found that climate change is already making us sic […]
  • The fastest disappearing terrorist threat in modern history
     Once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized. How it happened […]
  • Word
    Innovation is hard to schedule. -- Dan Fylstra […]
  • Pocket paradigm
    When you can't trust your presidents of either major party, your beloved Constitution is in tatters, you have to submit to investigative fondling before flying to Des Moines, your Catholic cardinals say it's okay to bugger little boys as long as you don't do it too often and it doesn't become "notorious," a corporation thrice de […]