GUN PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Eight months before he shot and killed his girlfriend and himself, Robert Burnham-Pratt had a confrontation with a Plainwell police officer while carrying a shotgun.
The officer was James Pell -- the father of the woman he killed early Tuesday.
Cassaundra Pell and Robert Burnham-Pratt were found dead in their rental home in the 500 block of 10th Street in Gun Plain Township, north of Plainwell, according to the Allegan County Sheriff's Office.
The couple were reported to have been arguing Monday at a family gathering in the Pine Lake area, police said, before returning home later in the evening.
Someone at the couple's home heard them arguing and then a gunshot, and called 911 around 12:19 a.m.
"So it [the arguing] got pretty loud for just a quick minute, and then I thought I saw the car leave," neighbor Holly Harrison told 24 Hour News 8. "I thought whoever it was left the house, and that was that. Apparently not because within another 10 minutes is when I heard a noise that I thought was a gunshot."
The investigation indicates Burnham-Pratt, 24, shot Pell, 23, and then himself, police said.
"It's very sad that there was no hope for saving anybody. They showed up and it was the way it was, and they're my age," Harrison said.
Pell was the daughter of long-time Plainwell Department of Public Safety Officer James Pell. He has been with the Department since 1995, according to PDPS Director Bill Bomar.
Crisis counselors were at the Department on Tuesday to help James Pell and his family.
The victim's cousin, who rented the home to her, said he never imagined this could happen.
"She was nice. She was pleasant, always pleasant to me and my wife. I never had a problem with her," Steve Pell said.
Tuesday, a stranger left a candle at the home.
"It's just wild. It's too close to home, too close for comfort," neighbor Barb Ver Sluis said.
24 Hour News 8 checked Burnham-Pratt's criminal record, which shows he was arrested for burglary eight years ago.
There was also a domestic complaint involving him and his mom in April that escalated to vandalism, Bomar said. But Burnham-Pratt was not arrested in that incident.
In October 2012, Burnham-Pratt posted a video to his YouTube channel about his right to carry a weapon in the open. He can't be seen in the video, but Plainwell police confirmed for 24 Hour News 8 that he was carrying a shotgun on a strap over his shoulders.
The first Plainwell officer he greets in the video, titled Open Carry in Michigan, was Officer James Pell, the father of the woman he killed.
In the demonstration, he quotes his legal rights to carry a weapon while police try to talk him out of it.
In another video posted in April, titled Michigan tax dollars have been going to this, Burnham-Pratt wrote, "Do not let the police intimidate you under any circumstance."
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