Strip Murder Suspect Said He Thought Victim Was Reaching for Gun
The 22-year-old accused of fatally shooting a man near the Tuscaloosa Strip early Friday morning told several people that he believed his 19-year-old victim was reaching for a gun, according to new court documents filed this week.
In a deposition made available Monday, investigators said the suspect, Zachary Profozich, was in the 1700 Block of University Boulevard near Audubon Manor Apartments when he and a friend encounter the victim, Schuyler Bradley, and two others.
Video evidence and witness accounts indicate that Profozich and Bradley had a brief argument before Profozich allegedly drew a .357 revolver and shot Bradley once in the torso.
Profozich and his friend reportedly fled the scene on foot and ditched the firearm, which investigators later recovered.
According to the deposition, the suspect told multiple people after the shooting that he was afraid Bradley was reaching for a gun of his own. A spokesperson for the multi-agency Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit declined to say if Bradley was armed at the time of the killing.
The victim, Bradley, was hospitalized at DCH Regional Medical Center shortly after the shooting and died there early Saturday morning, around 24 hours after the shooting.
Bradley was a student at Indiana University who was visiting a friend in Tuscaloosa when he was shot. A GoFundMe to help his family cover funeral expenses and other costs had raised almost $60,000 Tuesday morning.
Profozich, a Tuscaloosa resident, was arrested shortly after the incident. He was charged first with attempted murder, then those charges were upgraded to murder after Bradley died in the hospital. He has since been released from Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $150,000 bond.