The bodycam footage relating to the shooting death of Jonathan Price in Wolfe City is not being released, pending an opinion by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The Herald-Banner was among a dozen organizations seeking the footage from the Texas Department of Public Safety under the Freedom of Information Act.
Monday, Brian Sears, the Assistant General Counsel for the DPS, notified all of the requestors that the information would not be immediately released as it was still part of the investigation concerning Shaun Lucas, the former Wolfe City Police Department Officer who was reported to have shot the unarmed Price during an altercation on the night of Oct. 3.
“Because this is an ongoing investigation, the release of potential evidence could interfere with the investigation and prosecution of this case,” Sears wrote. “Consequently, the Department believes these responsive records are excerpted from required public disclosure at least until the investigation is complete.”
Lucas, 22, of Greenville, remained in custody Monday at the Collin County Jail, in lieu of $1 million bond on a charge of murder. He had filed a writ of habeas corpus with the 196th District Court, seeking a reduction in his bond. A hearing date concerning the writ had not been scheduled with the court as of press time Monday.
A criminal complaint compiled by Texas Ranger Laura Simmons indicated the confrontation between Lucas and Price, 31, of Wolfe City was captured on a body camera. Simmons said that as Lucas arrived at the location about a reported disturbance and “possible fight in progress” that Price approached Lucas and extended his hand, asking “you doing good” multiple times.
Lucas said he believed Price was intoxicated and attempted to detain Price and grabbed his arm, using verbal commands that were unsuccessful. Lucas produced a taser and informed Price to comply or the taser would be implemented. Price began to walk away and Lucas deployed the taser, which was not effective.
Price appeared to reach out and grab the end of the taser and Lucas discharged his firearm four times, striking Price in the upper torso. Price died later at the Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville.
“Based on video evidence, physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, it is clear that Officer Lucas did then and there intentionally and knowingly cause the death of Price by discharging a firearm causing the death of Price,” Simmons said.
Lucas has not yet been indicted in connection with the shooting. The Hunt County grand jury is next scheduled to meet on Oct. 30.