Wolfe City, TX – Wolfe City officials announced on Thursday afternoon that the officer who fatally shot 31-year-old Jonathan Price had been fired.
Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas was placed on administrative leave after he fatally shot Price at a gas station on Oct. 3, as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings.
On Monday, the Texas Rangers charged the 22-year-old officer with murder for fatally shooting Price.
Outraged activists and community members called for the immediate termination of Officer Lucas, but it took four days for the city to bring the axe down on newly-sworn officer, The Washington Post reported.
The city attorney for Wolfe City, John Snider, released a statement on Oct. 8 that said because Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas was a certified peace officer, the city had been required to do an administrative investigation of the incident.
Internal affairs investigations are standard for most police departments prior to terminating officers following an incident. In many cases, failure to do so violates the officer’s due process and collective bargaining agreements.
Snider said in the statement that Officer Lucas was terminated from the Wolfe City Police Department “for his egregious violation of the City’s and police department’s policies.”
The notice of Officer Lucas’s termination was posted just ahead of a city council meeting to allow residents to express their concerns about the latest happenings in the city, WFAA reported.
Officer Lucas was sworn into the Wolfe City Police Department in March, WFAA reported.
Prior to that, he worked for five months as a detention officer for the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.
Lawyers for the rookie 22-year-old Wolfe City officer said in a statement that “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.”
“After Mr. Price refused repeated instructions and physically resisted, Officer Lucas deployed his Taser and continued to give Mr. Price instructions,” attorney Robert Rogers, who is representing the officer, said. “Mr. Price resisted the effects of the Taser and attempted to take it away from Officer Lucas.”
Rogers is the same attorney who defended former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger when she was convicted of the murder of Botham Jean in October of 2019.
The Texas Rangers have headed up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Price and said they determined Officer Lucas’s actions were not “objectionably reasonable.”
Price’s family have claimed he was shot by police after he intervened in a domestic dispute between another couple at the gas station.
The bodycam video and footage from security cameras at the gas station have not yet been released to the public, but the charging documents detailed what could be seen on Officer Lucas’s bodycam video.
Texas Rangers filed a complaint on Oct. 5 charging Officer Lucas with Price’s murder that said the entire incident had been captured on bodycam, KDFW reported.
The officer’s bodycam video is described in great detail in the complaint and said that Price appeared to be grabbing the end of Officer Lucas’s Taser when he was shot.
The complaint said the dispatcher told Officer Lucas that he was responding to a call for “a possible fight in progress” at the Kwik Chek the night of the shooting.
According to the complaint, Price greeted Officer Lucas in a friendly manner initially and extended his hand to shake.
He apologized for broken glass on the ground and told Officer Lucas that someone had tried “to wrap me up,” according to the charging documents.
The officer told investigators that he thought Price was intoxicated and tried to detain him.
The charging documents said “Price stated, ‘I can’t be detained,’” KDFW reported.
“Officer Lucas continued to attempt to detain Price by grabbing Price’s arms and using verbal commands, which were both unsuccessful,” the affidavit read. “Officer Lucas produced a taser and informed Price to comply or the taser would be applied. Price failed to comply and began to walk away. Officer Lucas deployed the taser which was not fully effective. While being tased, Price continued to walk toward Officer Lucas.”
“Price appeared to reach out and grab the end of Officer Lucas’ taser,” the complaint continued to describe the contents of the officer’s bodycam video. “Officer Lucas discharged his firearm four times striking Price in the upper torso.”
Price was pronounced dead at Hunt County Regional Hospital, according to the affidavit filed by a Texas Rangers’ investigator.
The complaint also said the charges against the officer had been based on video and physical evidence, as well as eyewitness testimony, that showed Officer Lucas knowingly and intentionally caused Price’s death, KDFW reported.
Price’s family’s attorneys have called for the release of all the bodycam and security video of the incident, WFAA reported.