WOLFE CITY, Texas — The Texas police officer charged with murder after killing Jonathan Price outside a convenience store shot him four times in the torso, according to the probable cause affidavit released by the Hunt County District Clerk on Wednesday.
Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas said he was responding to a report of a disturbance and a possible fight in progress Saturday at approximately 8:30 p.m. at a Kwik Chek store.
The entire interaction is captured on a body worn camera, and details of the video are cited in the affidavit.
S. Lee Merritt, the attorney for Price’s family, said Price, a 31-year-old Black man, was intervening in a domestic dispute and was never violent before Lucas shot him.
“The situation was resolved before law enforcement arrived, according to witnesses,” the attorney said. “Why this officer still felt the need to tase and shoot Jonathan is beyond comprehension.”
After arriving at the store, Lucas was greeted by Price, who came very close to Lucas and asked “You doing good?” multiple times, according to the affidavit. Price tried to shake the officer’s hand.
Lucas thought Price was intoxicated. He attempted to detain Price when Price told him, “I can’t be detained,” the affidavit states.
“Officer Lucas continued to attempt to detain Price by grabbing Price’s arm and using verbal commands, which were both unsuccessful,” the affidavit says.
Lucas told Price he would be tased if he didn’t comply and Price began to walk away, according to the affidavit.
Lucas deployed the Taser, but the affidavit says the device was not fully effective and Price “continued to walk toward Officer Lucas” while being tased.
According to the affidavit, “Price appeared to reach out and grab the end of Officer Lucas’ Taser” and Lucas shot him four times in the upper torso.
Lucas was charged with murder this week after a preliminary investigation determined his actions were unreasonable, authorities said.
Price died at a hospital, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement. “The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not (objectively) reasonable,” it said.
Full autopsy report expected in six to eight weeks
Attorney Robert Rogers, who is representing Lucas, said Price “did not claim to be an uninvolved, innocent party” before Lucas attempted to detain him.
“After Mr. Price refused repeated instructions and physically resisted, Officer Lucas deployed his Taser and continued to give Mr. Price instructions. Mr. Price resisted the effects of the Taser and attempted to take it away from Officer Lucas,” Rogers said in a statement Tuesday night.
“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.”
A preliminary autopsy report from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office provided the cause of death: gunshot wounds. A full report, with toxicology results, is expected in six to eight weeks.
Texas Rangers booked Lucas into the Hunt County Jail on Monday. It’s not clear where Lucas is being held or if he’s bonded out. He is not listed on Hunt County’s online jail roster.
Lucas’ bond is set at $1 million, jail records indicate.
Attorney wants to meet with DA
The Hunt County District Attorney’s Office has yet to contact Price’s family, Merritt said Tuesday afternoon, adding that he and the family would visit Noble Walker’s office in person after their emails and phone calls were not returned.
Walker’s office has not returned CNN’s calls seeking information in the case.
Price’s mother expressed relief Lucas was taken into custody, saying the news lifted her spirits, allowing her to get some sleep Monday night.
“I’m glad they done got him off the street. My son didn’t deserve this,” Marcella Louis said just steps away from where her son was shot. “He helped everybody in his community and had a big heart and spirit. Whatever he wants to strive for, he tried to get out there and do it.”
Price’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Merritt said.
Summer of outrage
Price’s death follows a summer of outrage and demonstrations protesting the police killings of Black Americans, including Breonna Taylor and others.
The action against Lucas is the latest example of police speedily arresting their own in controversial shootings.
The Atlanta officer who killed Rayshard Brooks was fired and turned himself in on a murder charge less than a week after the shooting.
In George Floyd’s death, police within days leveled murder and manslaughter charges at the Minneapolis officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
In Fort Worth, Texas, it took police only two days to charge an officer accused of fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson through the window of her home.
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