A Black man was fatally shot by a police officer at a gas station in Wolfe City, Texas, Saturday night, and witnesses say it happened while he was attempting to intervene in a domestic situation. According to the man’s family, he was a city worker who was beloved in his community, but what makes this story even more tragic is that just months before the shooting, he spoke in support of police on social media.
According to KHOU 11, police officials haven’t identified the victim or released many details related to the shooting. All they have said so far is that the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave and an investigation by the Texas Rangers into the shooting is underway, but the man’s family identified him as 31-year-old Jonathan Price.
Relatives and friends said 31-year-old Price was a city employee and beloved in the Wolfe City community, about an hour northeast of Dallas.
Marcella Louis was in bed when she got the call about the shooting. She rushed to the gas station to get near her son.
“And they wouldn’t let me get close to my baby. I just wanted to hold his hand and they wouldn’t let me do that,” Louis said. “I just wanted to crawl over there to him.”
The mother said she wasn’t surprised to hear her son was trying to intervene in a fight.
“That’s what he always did, tried to help others. I taught him that all the years,” Louis said.
Witnesses said a man and a woman were in an argument, and Price tried to step in. The man assaulted Price, and when officers arrived, they used a taser on Price before the shooting.
Kyla Sanders—a community member who was at a store across the street from the gas station during the shooting—told reporters Price was a “pillar of the community” and that she rushed over to see what happened after hearing gunshots and was shocked to see who had been killed.
“We were all in shock,” Sanders said, KHOU reports. “Why would a cop shoot somebody?”
“We all love him and think so highly of him and just the nicest guy you could ever meet,” Sanders continued. “We’re all devastated, shocked, we don’t really know what to do or where to go from here.”
Many people from the community expressed similar sentiments on social media.
“Everybody loves Jonathan, everybody, Black, white, Mexicans, everybody,” Price’s sister April Louis said, according to Fox 4. “It don’t matter, he loved everybody, and they loved him.”
According to Fox 4, Price’s mother recalled the last time she saw him alive.
“Didn’t think that was the last time I would see him, he was walking out the truck, going with his friends with a smile on his face...he always smile...now he’s gone,” Louis said.
Others on social media have pointed out that Price was not anti-cop and, in fact, he spoke highly of police officers in June during the height of the Black Lives Matter explosion resulting from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.
On June 15, Price posted to Facebook that “With all the animosity going on with race and the 1time...I’m on the same fence as Lil Wayne, with him saying a white cop saved his life, and [he] hasn’t been too vocal based off EXPERIENCES.”
He went on to write that his positive experiences with cops “outweighs any BS about race and color right now.”
“There were times I should have been detained for speeding, outstanding citations, out dated registration, dosing off at a red light before making it to my garage [in] Downtown Dallas after a lonnng night out,” he continued. “I’ve passed a sobriety test after leaving a bar in Wylie, Texas by 2 white cops [who] still let me drive where I was headed...and by the way, they consider Wylie, Texas to be VERY racist. I’ve never got that kind of energy from the po-po.”
Unfortunately, Price may have learned in the most tragic way possible that anecdotal positive experiences with police don’t change the reality of systemic racism in policing.
According to Fox 4, Price’s family said a vigil will be held for him on Monday at 7 p.m.