Over the weekend, a 31-year-old Black man, Jonathan Price, was fatally shot at a gas station by a Wolfe City, Texas, police officer. Many Wolfe City residents have praised Price as “a pillar of the community,” while others pointed out how ironic the shooting was given that Price often spoke highly of police officers and even said in a June Facebook post that his positive experiences with police “outweighs any BS about race and color right now.” On Monday, the officer accused of fatally shooting Price was arrested by the Texas Rangers and charged with his murder.
The Texas Tribune reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety named Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas as a suspect in Price’s shooting and he was arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday.
From the Tribune:
On Saturday night, police in the small town about 70 miles northeast of Dallas were called to a disturbance, according to DPS. Merritt said Price had seen a man assaulting a woman and intervened. When police arrived, Merritt said Price raised his hands and tried to explain what was happening. DPS said Lucas tried to detain Price, who “resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away.”
Lucas fired a taser at Price, then shot him, DPS said.
In a statement, the Texas DPS said “The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable” and that “The Texas Rangers have charged Officer Lucas with the offense of murder and booked him into the Hunt County Jail.”
According to Hunt County Jail records, Lucas’ bond was set at $1 million.
Although it only took roughly two days to investigate Lucas and charge him in Price’s death, an attorney representing Price’s family, Lee Merritt, said in a Facebook post that the arrest didn’t come quickly enough.
“It should [have] happened the day he murdered [Price]. John should still be here,” Merritt wrote, the Tribune reports. “This did happen because this family fought for their son from the beginning and people worked hard both behind the scenes and in the public eye to make it happen.”
According to CNN, Merritt also said police bodycam video “likely caught what happened” and demanded that he and the family be allowed to “see a copy of the video.”
“We want to see the official police reports,” he said.
Merritt posted to Twitter Monday that Lucas’ arrest is “step one” and said, “Let’s see it through to justice.”
Meanwhile, friends and family members continue to mourn Price’s death.
Visibly emotional, Price’s father, Junior Price, told reporters, “I loved my son, and I tried to bring him up to do the right thing.”
Price played football at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, head coach Jesse Burleson said.
“Jonathan Price was an awesome young man during his time with Cowboy Football. Was only with us for a short time in 2008 but was always a Cowboy. Prayers for comfort and peace for Jonathan’s family,” Burleson tweeted.
Former Red Sox player Will Middlebrooks said Price was one of his childhood friends and was “a good man.”
“I’m sick. I’m heartbroken ... and I’m furious,” Middlebrooks wrote on Facebook.
The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing and is being conducted by The Texas Rangers, the Wolfe City Police Department and the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office, CNN reports.