Jonathan Price offered handshake, asked officer if he was ‘doing good,’ affidavit shows
Jonathan Price – a Black man and “hometown hero” – offered a handshake to the Wolfe City police officer and asked if he was “doing good” when the officer first arrived at a local convenience store on Saturday night, following a report of a fight, recently released court papers show. But tensions allegedly flared when the officer, 22-year-old Shaun Lucas, fatally shot Price, according to a probable cause affidavit released Wednesday.
Lucas, a White man who had started with the department only a few months ago, has been charged with murder for Price’s death at the store in the eastern Texas city, where police had received a report of a “possible fight,” court papers show.
According to the affidavit released by a Texas Ranger, the entire interaction between the pair was captured on a body camera. That footage has not been released.
Lucas arrived at the scene and was greeted by Price, who repeatedly asked if he was “doing good” and extended his hand for what appeared to be a handshake. Price, 31, apologized to Lucas for some broken glass that was on the ground, telling Lucas someone had tried to “wrap me up,” according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says Lucas thought Price was intoxicated and tried to detain him. Price said, “I can’t be detained,” as Lucas grabbed at his arm and used verbal commands.
When Lucas pulled out a stun gun, Price allegedly began to walk away. Lucas tried to activate the stun gun, but it wasn’t fully effective. According to the affidavit, Price then walked toward Lucas and motioned as if to reach for the end of it.
The officer then fired four shots, striking Price in the upper torso, the court document states.
Price was taken to a local hospital, but could not be saved.
Lucas was charged Monday with murder and, as of Thursday, remained in jail on a $1 million bond.
Authorities did not respond to Fox News’ requests for information pertaining to Lucas’ disciplinary record and any criminal history Price may have had.
In a Monday statement announcing Lucas’ arrest, the Texas Rangers said Price “resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away,” and that the officer’s actions weren’t “reasonable.”
Lucas had been with the Wolfe City Police Department for a little less than six months when the shooting took place, according to records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. His prior law enforcement experience had been working as a jailer with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office for about five months.
Lucas’ attorney, John Snider, has said that the officer “only discharged his weapon in accordance with Texas law when he was confronted with an aggressive assailant who was attempting to take his” stun gun.
Lee Merritt, a Dallas attorney representing Price’s family, said in a Facebook post that Price had “noticed a man assaulting a woman and he intervened.”
“Yesterday he noticed a man assaulting a woman and he intervened. When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on,” Merritt wrote. “Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.”
Police haven’t released any details about the reported fight that brought Lucas to the convenience store, but Price’s family and friends said the one-time college football player had intervened in a domestic disturbance.
Price, a Wolfe City employee, was well-known in the community, his family and friends reportedly said. He had played football for Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, was a personal trainer and bodybuilder with dreams of starting his own fitness center.
A funeral will be held on Saturday at a local high school football field.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.