Man accused of killing security guard faces additional charge of battery, day before shooting

NOW: Man accused of killing security guard faces additional charge of battery, day before shooting

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The suspected shooter accused of killing a security guard in a downtown South Bend parking garage is now in the Saint Joe County jail, where he faces four charges related to the death of Robert Pulliam Jr.

However, ABC57 learned Friday there’s a fifth charge against Derrick Pratcher for felony battery, for allegedly putting his hands on someone at a Mishawaka car dealership the day before Pulliam was killed.

Now the family of Pulliam is wondering if police could have caught him one day sooner, if their loved one could have made it home from work Sunday night.

“It seems like all of this actually could have been prevented if the job was done right the first time,” says Robert Pulliam’s daughter, Delaney Pulliam.

New information coming to light about Pratcher shows police were already searching for him the day before the murder, but it’s not clear why he wasn't tracked down.

“I’m grateful that he’s finally behind bars, but if he would’ve been arrested when he assaulted and broke someone’s nose, this wouldn’t have happened,” Delaney says about the man accused of shooting her father.

Newly filed court documents obtained by ABC57 on Friday show Derrick Pratcher is facing a level six felony battery charge for allegedly assaulting someone at a Mishawaka car dealership Saturday night, roughly 24 hours before police believe he pulled a gun on Pulliam.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Pratcher and his mother stopped at Justin Motors to apply for a loan to purchase a jeep, Saturday.

However, the approval process couldn't be done on the spot since it was the weekend and banks were closed.

An employee of the dealership claims later that night, after hours, Pratcher returned.

The employee says Pratcher started screaming from outside the entrance, demanding to buy the SUV on the spot.

That’s when they say Pratcher punched the employee in the face, breaking his nose and drawing blood.

Mishawaka police officers wrote up a report but did not go to Elkhart County to arrest Pratcher.

“Maybe my father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin would still be here,” says Delaney.

She was frustrated to learn about what happened the day before her father was tragically shot and killed, but she’s proud of her father’s quick thinking, snapping a photo of Pratcher's car before he died.

That photo led to Pratcher's arrest.

“It makes me proud to know he basically solved his own murder, but it makes me sad that I’ll never text him again,” says Delaney.

Now she wants justice.

“I hope they hit him with the maximum sentence they can,” Delaney hopes. “So this man cannot harm, hurt, or kill somebody else because apparently he’s not going to stop.”

She also wants to see that no other families go through the pain she’s faced.

“I really just hope that this senseless violence can stop because it’s affected so many families recently,” says Delaney.

ABC57 reached out to the Mishawaka Police Department to request bodycam video of the incident at the dealership and to learn more information on what took place after the report was filed, they said they’d return our request sometime next week.

Pulliam’s daughter tells ABC57 the family is raising money for Bob’s funeral expenses, a way to donate can be found at the bottom of Bob’s obituary.

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