A Texas police officer who fatally shot “Jonathan Price” 31, has been arrested and charged with murder, authorities said Monday night.
The officer, Shaun Lucas, of the Wolfe City Police Department did not take reasonable action in the encounter that killed an unarmed black man, the Texas Rangers said in a statement. Lucas’ bond was set at $1 million, jail records show.
Jonathan Price’s family has said he had intervened Saturday night in a fight between a man and a woman at a gas station before the shooting.
Lucas responded to a disturbance call about a possible fight at about 8:25 PM., according to the statement. Lucas attempted to detain Jonathan Price, who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away, the statement said.
Lucas, 22, used a stun gun before shooting Price, the Texas Rangers said. 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. He was arrested, booked into the Hunt County Jail, and charged with murder.
An attorney for Price’s family, Lee Merritt, has said that the incident began when Price noticed a man “assaulting” a woman at a Kwik Chek gas station.
When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on, Merritt said. Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they perceived a threat and shot him to death.
Price played football in 2008 for Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.
Lucas’ attorney, Robert L. Rogers, said in a statement Tuesday that Jonathan Price did not inform Lucas that he was not involved in the dispute when the officer said he was detaining Price.
After Mr. Price refused repeated instructions and physically resisted, Officer Lucas deployed his taser and continued to give Mr. Price instructions, Rogers said.
Mr. Price resisted the effects of the taser and attempted to take it away from Officer Lucas. Officer Lucas only discharged his weapon in accordance with Texas law when he was confronted with an aggressive assailant who was attempting to take his taser.
Wolfe City said in a statement Sunday that the officer involved in the shooting had been placed on administrative leave pending an “investigation” by the Texas Rangers.