Former NASCAR driver Bobby East was killed in a stabbing at a Southern California gas station, authorities said Saturday. The suspect was later shot and killed by the police.
On Wednesday evening, just before 6 pm local time, the 37-year-old East was found with a stab wound to the chest at a gas station in the Orange County city of Westminster, the Westminster Police Department said in a statement. He was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, where he died, police said.
The stabbing suspect was identified as 27-year-old Trent William Millsap, police said. At the time of the stabbing, Millsap was also wanted on an unrelated parole warrant and was on parole for armed robbery. The motive in the stabbing is not yet clear.
Investigators later learned that Millsap may be in an apartment in the nearby city of Anaheim, according to the police. During a SWAT raid of the apartment Friday, Millsap “became confrontational,” prompting officers to first deploy a K-9, and then open fire on him, police said. Police did not say if Milsap was armed.
Millsap was wounded and taken to a hospital, where he died. The K-9 was also struck by a bullet, but survived, police said.
The United States Auto Club also confirmed East’s death on its website Saturday, calling him “one of the most prolific drivers of his era.” He was a three-time USAC national champion.
East, whose father was a noted short-track car builder, also won SAC Silver Crown Championships in 2004, 2012 and 2013.
He was just 16 in 2001 when he became the youngest driver to win a feature USAC National Midget race. They won 15 USAC Races in 2004 and dabbled in a short NASCAR career shortly after. He made 11 career starts in what is now NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and had two top-10 finishes in 31 career Truck Series races.