A small town Texas police officer who was charged Monday with the murder of Jonathan Price has been fired, authorities announced Thursday.
Shaun Lucas, a White police officer on the Wolfe City force for less than six months, responded to calls of a disturbance at a convenience store Saturday night. At the store, he attempted to apprehend Jonathan Price, a 31-year old Black man, who “resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away,” according to a statement released by the Texas Rangers.
Lucas attempted to use a stun gun on Price, then shot him. Price was taken to a hospital where he later died.
According to an arrest affidavit, the entire incident was caught on body camera footage, but it has not been released yet.
Family and friends of Price said he was trying to intervene in a domestic disturbance when he was shot, while Lucas’ attorney, John Snider, contends that Price “did not appear to be an uninvolved, innocent party.”
“Unfortunately, there is no appeal process available for Mr. Lucas to challenge the employment decision,” Snider told Fox News. “Mr. Lucas acted within policy and law during this entire incident. He attempted to detain Mr. Price and was met with physical resistance. Mr. Lucas only discharged his pistol as a last resort in response to an aggressive assailant who was actively trying to take his taser.”
Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Price’s family, said that they were relieved Lucas was fired, even though they think it should have happened sooner.
“We’re relieved to see the city take decisive action to terminate the officer,” Merritt told Fox News. “We think he should have been terminated much sooner, maybe about the time he was arrested, but it’s a step in the right direction. We’re certainly glad it took place before the funeral.
Lucas was charged with murder Monday, and the city said it “was required to conduct an administrative investigation of Mr. Lucas’s misconduct” before he was “terminated for his egregious violation of the City’s and police department’s policies.”
“As the Mayor and Council of Wolfe City we want to extend our gratitude that the gatherings in support of Mr. Price and his family have remained peaceful,” the city’s statement said.
“Wolfe City is a tightknit community, and we join you in mourning Jonathan’s death and the events of the last week.”
The population of Wolfe City is about 1,500.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.