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Jonathan Price Tried To Shake Police Officer's Hand Before Getting Shot To Death, Affidavit Claims
Jonathan Price was shot and killed while trying to intervene in a domestic dispute at a local gas station, an attorney for his family has claimed.
The white police officer charged with the murder of Jonathon Price "intentionally" shot and killed him, according to recently released police documents.
Wolfe City police officer Shaun Lucas, who is white, was arrested this week for killing Price, a 31-year-old Black man whose family has said that he was trying to break up a domestic dispute on Saturday night when a responding police officer shot and killed him.
An arrest affidavit released Wednesday laid out the series of events that culminated in Lucas "intentionally" firing his weapon, ABC News reports. Lucas, who is 22, responded at around 8:24 p.m. to a report that a domestic disturbance was taking place at a local gas station. Lucas' bodycam footage shows that upon Lucas' arrival, Price greeted him by asking him, "You doing good?" and trying to shake his hand multiple times, according to the affidavit. He also apologized for broken glass that was on the ground.
The affidavit says that Lucas, believing that Price was intoxicated, then tried to detain him, but Price stated, "I can't be detained." He then tried to physically restrain Price by grabbing him by the arm and utilizing "verbal commands," but then, when that failed, took out his Taser. Lucas warned Price that he would use his Taser if Price did not cooperate, and when Price walked away, Lucas tased him, according to the affidavit.
At that point, Price allegedly walked toward Lucas and "appeared to reach out" and grab the end of the Taser, CNN reports, citing the same affidavit. Lucas then took out his gun and shot him four times in the upper torso; Price later died at the hospital from his wounds.
The affidavit states that Lucas "did then and there intentionally and knowingly cause the death of Price by discharging a firearm," according to ABC News. While the entire incident was captured by body camera footage, that footage has yet to be released to the public.
Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Price's family, said on Facebook that Price had his hands raised and that he did not try to take the Taser, but was suffering from the effects of being tased.
“When police arrived, I’m told he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on,” that post reads. “Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.”
Lucas was arrested on Monday and has been charged with murder, WFAA reports. He was transferred Tuesday to the Collin County jail, where he is being held on a $1 million bond.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement obtained by Oxygen.com that Price had "resisted in a non-threatening posture" before being tased, and stated that an early investigation has shown that Lucas' actions "were not objectionably reasonable."
Lucas' attorney Robert Rogers defended his client in a statement obtained by ABC News.
“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," he said.
The Texas Rangers, the Wolfe City Police Department, and the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office are working together to investigate the shooting. Meanwhile, Price's loved ones are grieving, and a community is calling for justice for a man who was killed after trying to intervene in a domestic dispute.
"The situation was resolved before law enforcement arrived, according to witnesses," Merritt said, according to CNN. "Why this officer still felt the need to tase and shoot Jonathan is beyond comprehension."