The Wolfe City Police Department on Thursday fired the Texas police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Black man Jonathan Price, calling the officer's actions an “egregious violation of the City’s and police department’s policies.”
The Wolfe City government announced the firing of Shaun Lucas in a press release following an investigation into his conduct during the incident Saturday night. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said Lucas “attempted to detain Price, who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away," at which point Lucas used a stun gun on Price.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Price’s family, said Lucas “perceived a threat” when Price began convulsing and responded by shooting him. Price died in the hospital soon after.
Relatives of Price have said he was attempting to break up a fight between a man and a woman at a gas station.
“As the Mayor and Council of Wolfe City we want to extend our gratitude that the gatherings in support of Mr. Price and his family have remained peaceful,” the city’s Thursday statement said. “Wolfe City is a tight knit community, and we join you in mourning Jonathan’s death and the events of the last week.”
Texas Rangers charged Lucas with murder on Monday, with the Texas DPS saying in a statement that day that “the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable.” The former officer is being held on a $1 million bond.
“This didn’t happen quickly. It should have happened the day he murdered JP. John should still be here,” Merritt said in an Instagram post after the charges were announced. “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.”
Texas Rangers had previously announced that Lucas was being placed on administrative leave as they investigated the incident.
Price’s death has sparked national attention since Saturday, coming after national protests in response to other recent police killings of unarmed Black individuals, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.