Son of River Rouge city councilman charged with murder

Justin Pruneau accused of killing man at his home

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – The son of a River Rouge city councilman is facing possible life in prison after being charged in connection to the shooting death of a 59-year-old man.

Justin Joseph Pruneau, 34, of River Rouge, is accused of shooting and killing Robert Carson Cook on July 21 at Cook's home in the 40 block of Oak Street.

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Pruneau concealed a rifle in a garbage bag as he rode a bicycle to Cook's home about 8:05 p.m. Friday. Once inside the home, Pruneau allegedly shot Cook in the abdomen.

Neighbor Mark Landry said he saw Pruneau going into Cook's house with something in a garbage bag, and then leave the house around 8 p.m.

"We saw him come out, jump on his bike with the rifle under his arm, take off across the field and shoot down the alley," Landry said. "Five minutes later, Bob's roommate came out and said, 'Bob's been shot. Has anybody seen anything?'"

Cook was taken to a hospital, where he died from the gunshot wound. Pruneau was arrested by River Rouge police officers later that same day.

Pruneau is the son of River Rouge city council member Mark Pruneau, and they live together.

Landry said he was disappointed about the display of violence in his part of River Rouge.

"It's disturbing," Landry said. "We moved here in December. It's been a nice neighborhood. It's a nice neighborhood. The neighbors are all friendly. It's just something that went bad."

Pruneau is charged with open murder and felony firearm. He is expected to be arraigned Monday at the 25th District Court in Lincoln Park.

The judge ordered Pruneau to be held without bond, so he'll stay in the Wayne County Jail until his court hearing, which is scheduled for early August.

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