Alexander Bulakhov Obituary – A Tennessee doctor died while trying to ward off a robber from his wife and toddler, according to reports, leading police to make two arrests in Memphis, Tenn. Alexander Bulakhov, 32, was out on a walk with his wife Anastasia Bulakhov and their 2-year-old daughter on Sunday when a man appeared in a ski-mask brandishing a gun, according to an affidavit reviewed by PEOPLE.
The man, identified in the affidavit as Marious Ward, allegedly “demanded property” from the couple and Alexander “surrendered” what was in his wallet, including identification and a credit card. Ward then “pointed the firearm directly” at Anastasia and asked her to do the same, prompting Alexander to try and fight off Ward to “defend” her, the affidavit claims.
During the scuffle, the gun went off and gravely injured the research doctor, according to the affidavit. He succumbed to his injuries after being taken to the hospital, the Memphis Police Department said in a press release. Police immediately launched a homicide investigation, Sergeant Louis Brownlee of Memphis PD tells PEOPLE. Further investigation revealed that the murder was the result of a botched robbery, he says.
The suspects fled in a white vehicle that had “distinct” damages such as a missing rear bumper, a dented front door and a possibly broken glass window, the affidavit says, adding that surveillance footage shows the same vehicle “casing for potential victims” before the incident. On Monday, police located Ward and his alleged accomplice Brandy Rucker in the vehicle matching the damage descriptions and took the two into custody after officers conducted a traffic stop.
Rucker allegedly told officers that she was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident and helped Ward flee the scene after he had shot Alexander, according to the affidavit. Ward, who was less than a week away from turning 24 at the time of Alexander’s death, “confessed to being the gunman responsible,” the affidavit alleges.
Two GoFundMe fundraisers set up for the family identified the two-year-old as Barbara.
According to one of the fundraisers, the family of three had just moved to the area for Alexander to start a postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Anastasia has not yet started a job, which the fundraiser says would make it challenging for her to take care of the family at this time.
Another fundraiser created by Alexander’s employers say the funds raised “will help provide the much-needed stability and aid in the absence of Alexander’s sole source of income for the family.” A St. Jude official confirmed with PEOPLE that Alexander was a part of the team.
In a statement provided to FOX 13 Memphis, the facility said they are “deeply saddened” and “working to support” the family. Both Ward and Rucker are facing charges of first-degree murder, using firearm to commit a crime and attempted murder among others. Memphis PD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Attorney information wasn’t immediately available for either of them; jail records show they are both scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1.