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A Texas Cop Was Charged With Murder For Shooting A Black Man Who Was Reportedly Breaking Up A Fight

Jonathan Price, a beloved leader in the Wolfe City community, was trying to stop an altercation between a man and a woman when police tased and then shot and killed him.

Posted on October 6, 2020, at 1:24 p.m. ET

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Jonathan Price

A white police officer in Texas has been charged with murder after fatally shooting Jonathan Price, a 31-year-old Black man whose family said he was trying to break up an altercation at a gas station when police tased and then shot and killed him.

The Texas Rangers, a Texas Department of Public Safety division that is investigating the incident, said Monday that Wolfe City police officer Shaun Lucas responded to a disturbance call on Saturday evening and made contact with Price, who he believed was "involved in the disturbance."

Price resisted in a "non-threatening posture" and began walking away when Lucas deployed a Taser, then shot him with his service weapon, the Texas Rangers said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

He was transported to the Hunt Regional Hospital and later died.

The Wolfe City Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson with the Hunt County Sheriff's Department told BuzzFeed News that Lucas was booked into jail on Monday, and his bond has been set at $1 million.

Hunt County Sheriff's Office via AP

Booking photo of Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.

Price's family attorney, Lee Merritt, said that Price had witnessed a man assaulting a woman and was trying to intervene when police arrived. He raised his hands and tried to explain what was going on.

"Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they 'perceived a threat' and shot him to death," Merritt said on Facebook.

Witnesses similarly said that Price was trying to break up a domestic dispute between a man and a woman at a Kwik Chek gas station, WFAA reported.

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Price's mother, Marcella Louis, told the local outlet that she was in bed when she got a call about the shooting. She went to the gas station, but officials wouldn't let her get close to the scene.

"I just wanted to hold his hand and they wouldn’t let me do that," she said. "I just wanted to crawl over there to him."

The Texas Rangers said Lucas's actions "were not objectionably reasonable."

Price's father Junior Price told NBC News that he had spoken to Lucas at the scene and asked why Lucas shot his son.

"He didn't say," Junior said. "He said, 'Get back,' he'll tell me later. ... And later ain't got here yet. It's Monday."

Wolfe City is some 70 miles northeast of Dallas and has a small population of approximately 1,500 residents.

A city employee and former Hardin-Simmons University football player, Price was a beloved leader and mentor in his community, his childhood friend Will Middlebrooks, a former MLB player, said in a GoFundMe for Price's family.

Price's fatal shooting has fueled the national outrage over police brutality and systemic racism in the criminal justice system. In Wolfe City and beyond on Monday, protesters gathered to demand justice for Price and other Black people who have been killed by police.

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