Texas police officer arrested on suspicion of murder in fatal shooting of Jonathan Price

Jonathan Price
Jonathan Price was fatally shot this weekend and Wolfe City police officer Shaun Lucas has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the 31-year-old's death. – Photo courtesy of social media

 

By JOLIE MCCULLOUGH

The Texas Tribune

 

On Saturday night, police in Wolfe City, a small North Texas town about 70 miles northeast of Dallas, were called to a disturbance, according to the Department of Public Safety. Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney in Dallas, said Jonathan 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 Officer Shaun Lucas tried to detain Price, who “resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away.” Lucas fired a taser at Price and then shot him, DPS said.

Price was a 31-year-old Black man. He worked for Wolfe City public works department and was a personal trainer known for his muscular physique.

Wolfe City officials have declined to comment on the shooting outside of noting on Sunday that the Rangers were investigating the incident and Lucas was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

On Monday, the Texas Rangers arrested Lucas on suspicion of murder in the death of Price, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement – noting the officer’s use of deadly force against Price did not seem “objectionably reasonable.”

As tensions in America continue to escalate over police brutality and systemic racism, Lucas’ arrest came relatively fast compared to other high-profile Texas police shootings that have resulted in officers facing criminal charges. Amber Guyger, who shot and killed Botham Jean in his own Dallas apartment after she said she mistook it for her own, was arrested three days after the shooting, but police who kill people are often not arrested unless a grand jury chooses to indict them.

But Merritt, who is representing Price’s family, said in a Facebook post that the arrest didn’t happen quickly.

“It should [have] happened the day he murdered [Price]. John should still be here,” he wrote. “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.”

“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” the agency’s statement read.

Lucas was booked into the Hunt County Jail on a $1 million bond, according to Hunt County jail records.

 

This article was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/06/jonathan-price-texas-police-killing/ by The Texas Tribune.

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