2 arrested after St. Jude employee murdered in robbery-turned-shooting Downtown

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 10:31 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 5:14 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two people have been arrested and charged after an employee with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was shot and killed Sunday night in Downtown Memphis.

The suspects, Marious Ward, 23, and Brandy Rucker, 22, will be in court on Wednesday morning.

According to Memphis police, 32-year-old Alexander Bulakhov, died after he was shot in the 400 block of Tennessee Street, near Tom Lee Park. Officers responded to the scene at 7:54 p.m.

According to the arrest affidavit, Bulakhov was on a walk with his wife and two-year-old child when a man in a ski mask approached them with a gun and demanded their property.

Bulakhov surrendered his wallet, and the man pointed the gun at his wife.

In an attempt to defend his wife, the two struggled over the weapon, at which point Bulakhov was shot.

He was rushed to Regional One Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

“I’m always in stark defense of Memphis. I love my city, it’s a great city, we have great people, great culture,” said Jacob Mclemore, a resident who was nearby when the situation unfolded.

McLemore said every morning, and sometimes in the evening, he walks in Butler Park, a place he feels safe with his son.

But that sense of security was stripped away Sunday night when Bulakhov was killed while walking with his family.

“Car pulled up, there’s a driver they were headed this way on Tennessee [Street]. The passenger got out, came up here. The whole thing happened really quick. Like 90 seconds tops, and then he ran back to the car,” said Mclemore.

Police say the suspects took off in a white Toyota Camry.

Monday afternoon, police say the investigation led officers to the area of Whitney Avenue and Steele Street, where police recovered the white Camry and detained Ward and Rucker.

Brandy Rucker, 22, and Marious Ward, 23
Brandy Rucker, 22, and Marious Ward, 23(MPD)

After further investigation, both were charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of a robbery, especially aggravated robbery, criminal attempted first-degree murder, employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and criminal attempted aggravated robbery.

A representative from St. Jude tells us the research hospital is deeply saddened by the loss of Alexander, adding their thoughts and prayers are with the family.

McLemore says Bulakhov immigrated to Memphis to help save lives at St. Jude.

”It doesn’t look great, you know you got an immigrant that comes here to enjoy the freedoms that we have in America, work for a great company like St. Jude, and then he gets taken from his family and that’s just, man...” said McLemore.

He says, from one father to another, he empathizes with a man trying to protect his family.

“With him, I’m not concerned with myself, but with this guy, I don’t think I’ll be coming down here after dark anymore,” said Mclemore.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.