A police officer in Texas was arrested and charged Monday following the fatal shooting of a 31-year-old Black man, authorities said.
Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas responded to a call about a possible fight after 8 p.m. on October 3, at the 100 block of Santa Fe Street, according to a statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“Officer Lucas made contact with a man, later identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Price, who was reportedly involved in the disturbance. Officer Lucas attempted to detain Price, who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away,” according to the department.
Lucas used his Taser and then fired his weapon, hitting Price, the statement said. Price died in a hospital shortly after, according to the statement.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” it said.
Lucas was charged with murder and booked into the Hunt County Jail by the Texas Rangers. CNN hasn’t been able to determine if Lucas has a lawyer.
Price’s death follows a summer of outrage and demonstrations protesting the killings of Black Americans at the hands of police, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.
Price intervened in a domestic dispute, attorney says
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt identified Jonathan Price as a Wolfe City employee during a Monday news conference.
The Price family is “grappling with the reality that they’re never going to see Jonathan again in this lifetime,” Merritt said.
Merritt said Price had intervened in a domestic dispute before he was shot.
“Mr. Price did not become violent, but there was a male who was aggressive towards a woman,” said Merritt.
“He intervened, and the situation was resolved before law enforcement arrived, according to witnesses,” Merritt said. “Why this officer still felt the need to Tase and shoot Jonathan is beyond comprehension.”
Friends, family mourn Price’s death
Price’s father, Junior Price, also spoke during the news conference. Visibly emotional, Price said, “I loved my son, and I tried to bring him up to do the right thing.”
Price also played football at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, according to head coach Jesse Burleson.
“Jonathan Price was an awesome young man during his time with Cowboy Football. Was only with us for a short time in 2008 but was always a Cowboy. Prayers for comfort and peace for Jonathan’s family,” Burleson tweeted Sunday.
Former Red Sox player Will Middlebrooks said Brooks was one of his childhood friends and was “a good man.
“I’m sick. I’m heartbroken… and I’m furious,” Middlebrooks wrote on Facebook.
Middlebrooks also organized a GoFundMe page for Price’s memorial and funeral, which has raised more than $67,000.
Family attorney calls for videos, police reports
According to Merritt, there is surveillance and police bodycam video that “likely caught what happened.”
“We want to see a copy of the video; we want to see the official police reports, which we haven’t seen yet,” Merritt said.
Following the news of the arrest, Merritt tweeted in part, “This didn’t happen quickly. It should (have) happened the day he murdered JP. John should still be here. This is step one. Let’s see it through to justice.”
According to jail records, Lucas’ bond has been set at $1 million.
The investigation is being conducted by the Texas Rangers, along with the Wolfe City Police Department and the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office.
CNN has reached out to the Hunt County District Attorney’s office, the Wolfe City mayor and the Texas Rangers for comment.
Before the arrest, the Wolfe Police Department had declined to comment about the shooting beyond a Facebook post that said there was a shooting and the officer involved had been placed on leave pending an investigation.