Texas Cop Charged With Murdering Black Man Outside Store

Jonathan Price was walk­ing away from Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas when Lucas opened fire, killing Price, offi­cials said

A white police offi­cer has been charged with mur­der in the fatal shoot­ing of a Black man fol­low­ing a report­ed dis­tur­bance at a con­ve­nience store in a small East Texas town over the week­end, author­i­ties said. Jonathan Price was walk­ing away from Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas when Lucas opened fire Saturday night, killing Price, the Texas Rangers said. Lucas, 22, was booked Monday into the Hunt County Jail on Monday night, the Texas Rangers said in a state­ment released by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Jail records show bail was set at $1 mil­lion. “The pre­lim­i­nary inves­ti­ga­tion indi­cates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objec­tion­ably rea­son­able,” the state­ment said. It wasn’t imme­di­ate­ly known if Lucas had a lawyer who could com­ment on his behalf. According to the state­ment, Lucas respond­ed to a dis­tur­bance call on Saturday night fol­low­ing a report of a pos­si­ble fight. He encoun­tered Price, 31, who was report­ed­ly involved in the dis­tur­bance, and Price “resist­ed in a non-threat­en­ing pos­ture and began walk­ing away,” the Texas Rangers said. Lucas used a stun gun before shoot­ing Price, who was tak­en to a hos­pi­tal and died, the state­ment said.

People gath­er for a march, ral­ly, and can­dle­light vig­il in hon­or Jonathan Price on October 5, 2020, in Wolfe City, Texas. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/​Getty Images)

Police didn’t release details about the dis­tur­bance, but fam­i­ly and friends of Price said Monday that the one-time col­lege foot­ball play­er was inter­ven­ing in a domes­tic dis­tur­bance when he was shot. “When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempt­ed to explain what was going on,” said civ­il rights attor­ney Lee Merritt in a Facebook post­ing. “Police fired Tasers at him and when his body con­vulsed from the elec­tri­cal cur­rent, they ‘per­ceived a threat’ and shot him to death.” After Lucas’ arrest was announced, Merritt post­ed: “This didn’t hap­pen quick­ly. It should (have) hap­pened the day he mur­dered JP. John should still be here.” Price’s rel­a­tives and friends said Price, a Wolfe City employ­ee, was a fig­ure well-known about the close­ly-knit com­mu­ni­ty. The town has about 1,500 res­i­dents about 70 miles (113 kilo­me­ters) north­east of Dallas. Price played foot­ball in 2008 for Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Hardin-Simmons foot­ball coach Jesse Burleson tweet­ed that the uni­ver­si­ty “lost one of our own in a ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion. Jonathan Price was an awe­some young man dur­ing his time with Cowboy foot­ball.”

Former Major League Baseball third base­man Will Middlebrooks, who grew up with Price, said on Facebook: “I’m sick. I’m heart­bro­ken… and I’m furi­ous.” Middlebrooks start­ed an online fundrais­er for Price’s fam­i­ly that sur­passed its $50,000 goal in less than 24 hours.