Jonathan Price Allegedly Tried to Break Up a Fight. Texas Police Killed Him
UPDATE (10/6): Shuan Lucas, the Wolfe City Police Officer who shot Jonathan Price, has been charged with murder, the Texas Rangers said in a statement. “At approximately 8:24 p.m. on Oct. 3rd, 2020, Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas responded to a disturbance call at the 100 block of Santa Fe Street for a possible fight in progress,” the statement read. “Officer Lucas made contact with a man, later identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Price, who was reportedly involved in the disturbance. Officer Lucas attempted to detain Price, who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away. Officer Lucas deployed his TASER, followed by discharging his service weapon striking Price. EMS was notified and Price was transported to Hunt Regional Hospital, where he later died. The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable. The Texas Rangers have charged Officer Lucas with the offense of Murder and booked him into the Hunt County Jail. This investigation is being conducted by the Texas Rangers, with the cooperation of the Wolfe City Police Department and the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office. No additional information is being released at this time.”
Police in Wolfe City, Texas shot and killed a 31-year-old black man, Jonathan Price, on Saturday, October 3rd, after he reportedly tried to intervene in a fight at a gas station convenience store, Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA reports. While law enforcement has not named Price, his family confirmed the victim’s identity to WFAA.
Price’s family and a witness said Price had tried to break up a domestic argument between a couple inside the store. The dispute continued outside the store, at which point police arrived. Police reportedly used a taser on Price before shooting him.
Price’s mother, Marcella Louis, told WFAA that she rushed to the gas station after learning her son had been shot. “They wouldn’t let me get close to my baby,” she said. “I just wanted to hold his hands. They wouldn’t let me do that… They took my son from me. They took my baby.”
On Sunday morning, October 4th, the City of Wolfe City posted a statement on Facebook saying, “On October 3, 2020 an Officer involved shooting occurred in Wolfe City. The Officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of this matter by the Texas Rangers. No further information is available for release at this time.”
A spokesperson for the Texas Rangers shared a statement that read: “At the request of the Wolfe City Police Department, Texas Rangers have been requested to investigate an officer involved shooting. The incident is under investigation and no additional information is currently available.”
A representative for the Wolfe City Police Department did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment. The officer involved has not yet been named.
Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing Price’s family who’s also been involved in other high-profile civil rights and police brutality cases, wrote on Instagram Sunday: “Yesterday [Price] noticed a man assaulting a woman and he intervened. When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on. Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.” On Monday, he appeared near the site of the shooting with Price’s family, and called for the officer involved to be arrested. “He deserves justice because he was a human citizen who was not breaking the law and he was gunned down by police officers,” he said.
According to reports, Price was a beloved figure in Wolfe City, a town of about 1,500 located about an hour northeast of Dallas. He’d been a star athlete at the city’s public schools growing up and had returned to his hometown, where he worked as a trainer and for the city’s public works department. Merritt wrote that “he was known as a hometown hero. Motivational speaker, trainer, professional athlete and community advocate — he was dearly loved by so many.”
Will Middlebrooks, a childhood friend of Price’s and an ex-professional baseball player, posted a photo of Price on Facebook along with the note: “See this face? This is the face of one of my childhood friends. The face of my first ever favorite teammate. The face of a good man. But unfortunately it’s the face of a man whose life was taken away from him last night with his hands in the air, while a small town East Texas cop shot him dead. Why? Bc he was trying to break up a fight at a gas station… for some reason he was singled out. I’ll let you do the math. There’s no excuses this time…’he was a criminal’… Nope, not this time. ‘He resisted arrest, just comply with the cops’.. Nope that one doesn’t work this time either. This was purely an act of racism. Period. So, for all of you that think this is all bullshit, you need to check yourselves.”
According to posts on Instagram, rallies are being organized in New York and Los Angeles for tonight, October 5th, as is a vigil in Wolfe City.