EPD responded around 5 a.m. this morning to a report that panels on the door of St. Bernard’s rectory were kicked in. Below is the dramatic story in sound as taken from scanner tapes when officers discovered an intruder upstairs.


The officers who arrived at the rectory quickly determined that someone was hiding in the building. The scanner tape of the incident captures the tense whispers of the officer as he attempts to capture the suspect.

“I can hear movement on the second floor,” one officer murmurs.


Officers surround the building and attempt to find all the possible exits. 


The officers move in to make an arrest. The suspect apparently attempts to resist. A police dog begins barking and then the arrest is made.


Medical aid is requested for the subject. The officer cites a dog bite and other medical issues.


Just yesterday, the trial of the suspect in the death of Father Freed moved back several months. Gary Bullock is accused of breaking into St. Bernard’s rectory early on New Year’s Day and torturing the well respected local priest to death. 

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UPDATE, 10:06 a.m.: The Eureka Police Department has issued a press release on the incident:

On 06/12/14 at approximately 4:45 a.m. officers were dispatched to St. Bernard’s Church after a custodian arrived and found the lower door panels to the rectory had been kicked out. The officers conducted a search of the rectory and could hear footsteps coming from the attic. Officers determined that the attic door was barricaded by the suspect and could not be opened. A perimeter was established and a K9 was requested to the scene.

Officers made an announcement for the suspect, later identified as Sherman Prochnau (51) of Fortuna, to exit the attic and Prochnau acknowledged the command. Prochnau opened the attic door and began climbing down the ladder. Prochnau initially followed officers commands but resisted when officers attempted to take him into custody.

After multiple warnings Prochnau failed to follow verbal commands and continued to resist. The K9 was utilized to assist in the apprehension. Prochnau was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment of the injuries he sustained during his apprehension. At the hospital a syringe and baggie of methamphetamine were found concealed on Prochnau’s person. Upon his release from the hospital, Prochnau will be booked for burglary, resisting arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.