HUNT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – An East Texas family is speaking out one day after officials arrested a police officer and charged him with the murder of their loved one.
Officer Shaun Lucas was arrested on October 5 and charged with the shooting death of Jonathan Price, who had allegedly intervened in a domestic violence incident outside a convenience store.
Speaking about the arrest Price’s mother, Marcella Louis, said, “I’m glad they got him off the streets. My son didn’t deserve this, he really didn’t. He helped everybody in this community.”
When asked what she did after learning of Lucas’ arrest Louis said, “It was something that just uplifted me since I know that he’s locked up, my son’s murdered. And I got some sleep after that, a little rest, after I heard and saw that he was locked up.”
But her anger and frustration hasn’t subsided, Louis said she wants to “reach out and hold onto him [Lucas]” in a violent way.
Louis said she wants Lucas to feel the pain that she is feeling. “Take his life. He took a life, take his life. That’s the way I see it — but the right way.”
The mother of the 31-year-old said the shooting was simply unnecessary. “He didn’t have to shoot him. I know they [police] were trained to more than just tasing and shooting.”
Earlier on Tuesday Hunt County District Attorney Noble Walker issued a statement concerning the case that said, in part, “Though an arrest has been made, our office has not received the case from the Texas Rangers as it remains an active and ongoing investigation. As is customary, this case will be filed with our office once the investigation is complete.”
During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the family, responded saying, “A prosecutor is responsible, they have investigators in that office, who are responsible to coordinate with the Texas Rangers. This is not the Texas Rangers investigation alone, but it is the responsibility of the elected prosecutor of Hunt County to actively participate in this investigation, to lead and direct the Rangers.”
On Monday the Texas Rangers, who are handling the investigation, gave some brief details about what happened on the evening of October 3. The statement they released said, in part –
“Officer Lucas attempted to detain Price, who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away. Officer Lucas deployed his TASER, followed by discharging his service weapon striking Price. EMS was notified and Price was transported to Hunt Regional Hospital, where he later died. The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable.”
Still referring to DA Noble’s recent statement, Merritt said, “We found very problematic his statement that the Rangers will present the case to the grand jury. Absolutely not, his office will present this case to the grand jury — through the Rangers.”
Before Lucas was arrested Price’s family said there was video of the shooting and that the Wolfe City police chief had seen it and “wasn’t happy with what he saw.”
Law enforcement agencies haven’t confirmed the claims about the domestic violence disturbance, but family and friends of Price said the one-time college football player was being a Good Samaritan when he was shot.
Hundreds of people marched through Wolfe City on Monday night, peacefully protesting and holding a candlelight vigil for Price.
Former MLB player Will Middlebrooks, a childhood friend of Price, set up a “Justice for Jonathan” GoFundMe page, that as of Tuesday afternoon had raised more than $82,000. Middlebrooks said his friend was “singled out” for his skin color.
CBS 11 News has learned that Lucas had been an officer for less than six months. The 22-year-old has been put on administrative leave and is being held on a $1 million bond.