A white Texas police officer was charged on late Monday with the murder of an unarmed black man in Wolfe City. Shaun Lucas was apprehended on a $1 million bond after Wolfe City Police Department placed him on administrative leave.
On Saturday, Lucas responded to a disturbance call at Santa Fe Street and attempted to detain Jonathan Price who, according to witnesses, intervened in a domestic fight between a man and a woman. Price resisted the arrest in a "non-threatening posture" and started to walk away when Lucas tasered and shot him, according to the state's Department of Public Safety (DPS). Price was rushed to Hunt Regional Hospital, where he died.
An initial investigation done by the Texas Rangers — a law enforcement division in the DPS — found that the officer's actions were not "objectionably reasonable." Lucas was held at the Hunt County Detention Center, the DPS said on Monday.
If convicted Lucas could reportedly face 5 to 99 years in jail.
Who is Shaun Lucas?
Lucas was one of the only three police officers at the police department in Wolfe City, a small community in Texas. Public records showed the 22-year-old officer had a history of run-ins with the law.
In Hunt County, Lucas was issued a misdemeanor in June 2018 for using a glass coating on his vehicle's windows and was required to pay fine, according to the Heavy. He had three records against him in Rockwell, Texas. In January 2016, he was charged and fined $227 for speeding, and the following month he was cited in another misdemeanor. In July 2017, he was again issued a misdemeanor speeding and was fined $227.
Lucas is not a resident of Wolfe City, unlike Price who was well-known in the community. According to jail records, Lucas lived in Greenville, Texas since 2018. His prior residences were recorded in Lone Oak, Forney, Corpus Christi and Rockwall.
Price Family Attorney Reacts to Officer Shaun Lucas' Arrest
Lee Merritt, a civil rights lawyer working with Price's family, said on Twitter that Lucas should have been arrested the day he fatally shot Price. He told CBS DFW that Lucas was "dangerous" and should not be released on bond.
"This is the first step. This man is dangerous and should not be out on bond. The family was relieved to hear of his arrest and are looking forward to his conviction," Merritt said, adding that the Wolfe City police chief saw the video of the shooting and "wasn't happy with what he saw."