Police: Valpo man admitted to killing lifelong friend

2014-04-02T16:12:00Z 2014-04-07T16:27:06Z Police: Valpo man admitted to killing lifelong friendBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | A 34-year-old Valparaiso man is in custody after reportedly admitting to police he shot a friend who was visiting his Chandana Point apartment on the city's north side.

Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner said Abraham Bratcher, of 3105 Black Partridge Lane, called 911 shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday from his residence and told responding officers he shot 31-year-old Gerid Forste, of Kouts, numerous times during an altercation.

Police are investigating the cause of the altercation.

Both men have lengthy arrest records, including a September 2010 case where Forste was taken into custody on allegations of battering Bratcher after the two had been up all night drinking, according to records obtained from the Porter County Sheriff's Department.

Bratcher described Forste at the time of that incident as a lifelong friend, according to police.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said Wednesday afternoon he had not yet determined how many times Forste was shot because he did not want to disturb the evidence.

Forste was dead when police arrived just a few minutes after Bratcher's 911 call and no one else was at the residence, Brickner said. Police recovered a Smith and Wesson AR 15 rifle.

Brickner said Bratcher would be transferred from the city police station to the county jail sometime Wednesday.

The Porter County prosecutor's office said charges would not be filed Wednesday.

The death marks Porter County's first homicide of 2014, Harris said.

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