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They took my baby’: Man killed by Texas police after intervening in dispute, family says

Jonathan Price, 31, had stepped in between a couple arguing at a gas station about an hour north of Dallas.

A former Hardin-Simmons University football player was shot and killed by police after intervening in a fight between a man and a woman at a gas station in Texas, his family said.

Jonathan Price, 31, was shot Saturday night in Wolfe City, about 70 miles northeast of Dallas.

In a statement posted Sunday to its Facebook page, the city said the officer involved in the shooting had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Texas Rangers. The city did not mention Price or identify the officer.

The Texas Rangers, through a spokesman, Lonny Haschel, confirmed Monday that they were investigating the shooting at the request of the Wolfe City Police Department.

Marcella Louis told ABC affiliate WFAA of Dallas that when she learned her only son had been shot, she rushed to the gas station.

Jonathan Price.
Jonathan Price.via Facebook

“They wouldn’t let me get close to my baby,” she said. “I just wanted to hold his hands. They wouldn’t let me do that. “

“They took my son from me,” she told the outlet through sobs. “They took my baby.”

Price’s sister, April Louis, told WFAA her brother was well regarded.

“Everybody loved Jonathan. Everybody,” she said. “Black, white, Mexican, it doesn’t matter. He loved everybody. Everybody loved him.”

Price’s mother and sister did not immediately return requests for an interview Monday.

Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing Price’s family, said Price was known as a “hometown hero,” motivational speaker, personal trainer, athlete and community advocate. Price “was dearly loved by so many,” Merritt wrote in an Instagram post Sunday.

Neither the Wolfe City police nor the Texas Rangers released details of the shooting. ButMerritt said the incident began when Price, who was Black, noticed a man assaulting a woman at the gas station and intervened.

“When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on,” Merritt said Sunday. “Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.”

Jesse Burleson, the head football coach at Hardin-Simmons University, a private Baptist college in Abilene, Texas, tweeted Sunday: “Lost one of our own in a terrible situation. Jonathan Price was an awesome young man during his time with Cowboy Football. Was only with us for a short time in 2008 but was always a Cowboy. Prayers for comfort and peace for Jonathan’s family. #CowboyBrother

Will Middlebrooks, a former third baseman for MLB’s Texas Rangers, said he grew up with Price and talked about their friendship in a video posted Sunday on Facebook.

“Jonathan was a very close friend of mine from childhood. We came up together, played tee-ball together, went to elementary school together,” Middlebrooks said, adding that Price was very close to his family. “We know how special of a human being he was. And it’s a really tough loss.”

“This is a really, really tough loss for all of us on a lot of different levels,” Middlebrooks said.

He said “the last thing” he wanted to see was Wolfe City “get torn to pieces because of this.”

“I understand you’re angry. I understand you’re sad and broken. We all are,” Middlebrooks 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. And the legacy he’ll leave.”

Middlebrooks said Price would not want Wolfe City “torched and torn to pieces and people’s businesses being ruined because of this because those people were behind him.”

“This was one person who committed this crime,” Middlebrooks said. “And I pray justice will be served soon. And I pray this is handled correctly.”

In June, Price said in a Facebook post thatthere were times he should have been detained by police for speeding, outstanding citations, outdated registration and dozing off at a red light. He said two white police officers let him go after he passed a sobriety test in Wylie, a city in Texas that he said is considered “to be VERY racist.” He said, however, that he had never gotten “that kind of energy from” the police.

The post concluded: “Not saying black lives don’t matter, but don’t forget about your own, or your experiences through growth/’waking up.'”

Per: NBC

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