Steve October 8, 2020
white-texas-officer-charged-in-fatal-shooting-of-black-man-is-fired

A white police officer who was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a Black man at a gas station in Wolfe City, Texas, has been fired.

Jonathan Price was shot outside a gas station in Wolfe City, Texas.via Facebook

The officer, Shaun Lucas, 22, was fired Thursday for “his egregious violation of the city’s and police department’s policies,” Wolfe City said in a news release. Lucas was one of six officers in Wolfe City, about 70 miles northeast of Dallas, all of whom are white.

Lucas had been on the force since April. Before that, he worked as a jailer for the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department for five months. Lucas was arrested Monday and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Jonathan Price, 31, Saturday night at a gas station in Texas.

Mayor Sharion Scott and the City Council expressed gratitude Thursday, saying in the news release that gatherings in support of Price have remained peaceful in the “tight-knit community.” They said they join in mourning Price’s death and the events of the past week.

“We also ask that you remember our city employees, many of whom worked with both Mr. Price and Mr. Lucas as we eventually begin the work of healing our town and the community at large,” the release said.

Lucas had responded to a call about a fight at a Kwik Chek gas station on Santa Fe Street, the Texas Ranger Division said Monday.

Lucas tried to detain Price, who had intervened after he saw a “man assaulting a woman,” according to Lee Merritt, an attorney for Price’s family.

The Texas Rangers said that Price resisted in “a nonthreatening posture and began walking away” and that Lucas then fired a stun gun before “discharging his service weapon striking Price.”

Price was taken to a hospital, where he died.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” the Texas Rangers said.

Lucas’s attorneys have previously said that he “only discharged his weapon in accordance with Texas law when he was confronted with an aggressive assailant who was attempting to take his” stun gun.

In a statement Tuesday, one of Lucas’ attorneys, Robert Rogers, said Price “did not claim to be an uninvolved, innocent party” when Lucas arrived at the scene, as Merritt has implied.

Lucas’ attorneys did not immediately return requests for comment Thursday. Lucas remains in jail, with bail set at $1 million.

Price played football in 2008 at Hardin-Simmons University, a private Baptist college in Abilene, Texas.

“Jonathan Price deserves justice by virtue of his humanity alone,” Merritt said Monday before Lucas was arrested. “He was a great guy. He was a mentor. He was a hometown hero. He was a motivational speaker. He worked with kids. He did all those things that deserve praise.

“But that is not why he deserves justice. He deserves justice because he was a human citizen who was not breaking the law who was gunned down by a police officer,” Merritt said.

Image: Janelle GriffithJanelle Griffith

Janelle Griffith is a reporter for NBC News. 

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