A Black man was shot and killed by police in Texas over the weekend, when he tried to break up an altercation in a convenience store.
According to a statement posted to Facebook on Oct. 4 by civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, 31-year-old Jonathan Price tried to clarify the situation to police before he was killed.
“Yesterday he noticed a man assaulting a woman and he intervened,” said Merritt, who is representing Price’s family. “When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on. Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.”
WFAA reported that on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 3, Price was gunned down at a Kwik Check gas station. Witnesses said that Price struggled to break up the argument inside the store, but it moved outdoors, and when officers encountered the scene, Price was the person who was shot.
Officials in Wolfe City, a small town of roughly 1,500 people about an hour northeast of Dallas, issued a brief statement on Sunday morning.
“On October 3, 2020 an Officer involved shooting occurred in Wolfe City. The Officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of this matter by the Texas Rangers. No further information is available for release at this time.”
In an interview with WFAA, Price’s mother Marcella Louis said her only son was a “hero.”
“He had a good heart. He always tried to help others. I taught him that all through the years,” Louis said.
Price, who was a fitness trainer, was well known for his giving and supportive heart, said relatives, who also said Price worked for Wolfe City’s public works department.
While no information has been released other than confirmation of the shooting’s occurrence, witnesses and Price’s family have said that the officer that shot Price was white.
Former Major League Baseball player Will Middlebrooks, who grew up with Price in Wolfe City, posted a video to Facebook asking for his hometown to stay calm, and recognizing that people felt “angry, sad, and broken.”
“The last thing I want to see is that town get torn to pieces because of this,” he said. “Most people in that town are behind Jonathan and everything he was about and who he is and who he was as a person.”
A GoFundMe titled “Justice for Jonathan” has been posted to help out the family and assist with funeral expenses. As of this writing, it had raised over $52,000 of the initial $50,000 goal.