Suspect in popular Calif. priest's death arrested

By Kyle Johnson,

Gary Lee Bullock was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of murdering Roman Catholic priest, Rev. Eric Freed, on Wednesday in Eureka, Calif.

As previously reported, Freed was found dead in the St. Bernard's Church rectory after going missing ahead of Wednesday mass. Police believed at the time that his death was likely a homicide.

Eureka Mayor Frank Jager said of Freed, "He was a tremendous person in this community. This is an absolutely tremendous loss not only for the St. Bernard's parish, but for our community in general."

CNN reports that Freed was found to have been involved in a "violent struggle" before dying from "blunt force trauma."

Interestingly enough, police had actually dealt with Bullock several times for unrelated issues ahead of him being taken into custody as a murder suspect. They arrested Bullock earlier on New Year's Eve on public intoxication after calls came in of a man "acting strangely."

After spending time in the hospital and jail, he was released early Wednesday and police later told him to go to a shelter after receiving a call of a suspicious person near Freed's church and finding him there.

Bullock was also later tossed out of St Bernard's Church by a guard for acting strangely and it wasn't until later that the priest's body was discovered.


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