The police officer who fatally shot 31-year-old Jonathan Price has finally been fired five days after the October 3 incident. Even though 22-year-old Shaun Lucas was charged with murder on October 5, the status of his employmet has been unclear. An October 8 statement from city officials in Wolfe City, Texas said Lucas was “terminated for his egregious violation of the City’s and police department’s policies, CNN reports.
The statement also added, “As the Mayor and Council of Wolfe City we want to extend our gratitude that the gatherings in support of Mr. Price and his family have remained peaceful. Wolfe City is a tightknit community, and we join you in mourning Jonathan’s death and the events of the last week.”
Attorney Robert Rogers, who is representing Lucas told The Washington Post via email, “Mr. Lucas acted within policy and law during this entire incident. He attempted to detain Mr. Price and was met with physical resistance. Mr. Lucas only discharged his pistol as a last resort in response to an aggressive assailant who was actively trying to take his taser.”
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On October 3, Price reportedly came across a domestic violence situation between a man and a woman at a Kwik Chek gas station. The dispute began inside the adjacent convenience store area but then spilled outside. The man started to assault Price when police arrived.
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According to Dallas News, an affidavit written by a Texas Ranger said when the 22-year-old officer arrived at the scene, Price approached Lucas, offered a handshake and asked several times, “You doing good?” Additionally, the 31-year-old apologized for broken glass on the ground.
Lucas claimed he thought Price was intoxicated, tried to detain him and Price allegedly said, “I can’t be detained,” according to the affidavit. Lucas tried to grab Price’s arm, Price started walking away and the officer used his Taser, which wasn’t “fully effective.”
In the affidavit, Lucas accuses Price of trying to grab the end of the officer’s stun gun. The officer then shot him four times. Price died soon after at a nearby hospital. A full report from the Medical Examiner’s Office is expected in six to eight weeks and will include a toxicology report.
The body camera footage of the fatal police shooting has yet to be released.
A preliminary investigation from the Texas Rangers shows that Lucas’ actions “were not objectionably reasonable,” which warranted a murder charge. Lucas’ bail is set at $1 million. It is not clear whether he remains at the Hunt County Jail, has been moved or if he has bonded out. According to CNN, he is not on the Hunt County jail roster.
In an ominous June 15 Facebook post, Price wrote that when it came to racist encounters with law enforcement, he “never got that kind of energy” from police. Price worked for the city public works department and was also a fitness trainer. He was called by people who knew him as a “pillar of the community.”
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