Who Is Jonathan Price? Black Man Was Breaking up Fight When Officer Shot Him Dead, Family Say

Jonathan Price was the Black man fatally shot by a police officer after trying to break up a fight in a Texas gas station, his family and friends said.

Officials in Wolfe City, located around 70 miles northeast of Dallas, have released few details about the incident.

But a brief statement on the city's Facebook page confirmed that an officer-involved shooting took place on Saturday and that the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Texas Rangers.

The statement did not identify the man killed in the shooting or the officer who shot him.

But Price's family said the 31-year-old, who was an employee of the city's public works department, was the one shot by an officer on Saturday night, WFAA reported.

Price's childhood friend Will Middlebrooks, a former professional baseball player, wrote on social media that Price was "singled out" while trying to break up a fight at a gas station.

Middlebrooks, who said he is "heartbroken" and "furious", said Price had his hands in the air when an officer shot him once in the chest and twice in the back.

"See this face? This is the face of one of my childhood friends. The face of my first ever favorite teammate," Middlebrooks wrote alongside pictures of Price in a Facebook post that was also shared on Twitter.

"The face of a good man. But unfortunately it's the face of a man whose life was taken away from him last night with his hands in the air, while a small town East Texas cop shot him once in the chest and then twice in the back.

"Why? Bc he was trying to break up a fight at a gas station... for some reason he was singled out. I'll let you do the math."

Middlebrooks added: "There's no excuses this time..."he was a criminal"... Nope, not this time. "He resisted arrest, just comply with the cops." Nope that one doesn't work this time either. This was purely an act of racism. Period. So, for all you that think this is all bullsh**, you need to check yourself."

Price's friends and family told WFAA that Price had been trying to intervene in a domestic violence situation shortly before he was killed at the Kwik Check gas station at 103 Santa Fe Street on Saturday.

Price tried to break up a dispute between a couple, but the man assaulted him, according to the station. When police officers arrived at the scene, witnesses told the station they used a Taser on Price before shooting him.

Police and officials have not revealed details about the shooting or the officer involved, but Price's family and witnesses told WFAA the officer is white. Wolfe City Police and the Texas Rangers have been contacted for comment.

We all loved Jonathan, and Wolfe City needs to stand together. Will has a message.

Posted by Julie Procell Middlebrooks on Sunday, October 4, 2020

"He had a good heart. He always tried to help others. I taught him that all through the years," his mother Marcella Louis told the station.

She added: "They took my son from me. They took my baby."

His sister, April Louis, added that everybody loved her brother. "Everybody loved Jonathan. Everybody," she said. "Black, white, Mexican, it doesn't matter. He loved everybody. Everybody loved him." A representative for the family has been contacted for comment.

In a video posted on Facebook, Middlebrooks called for calm in Wolfe City, saying Price would not want his hometown "torn to pieces," referencing the unrest that erupted in other places where Black people have been killed by police.

"The last thing I want to see is that town get torn to pieces because of this," he said. "I understand you're angry, I understand you're sad and broken. We all are.

"Most people in that town are behind Jonathan and everything he was about and who he is and who he was as a person... the legacy he'll leave.

"I know for a fact he would not want that place torched and torn to pieces... because of this. There was one person who committed this crime and I pray justice will be served soon. I pray this is handled correctly."

BLM
Protesters demonstrate during a peaceful march to mourn the death of George Floyd in downtown Houston, Texas on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images