A homeless man who was suspected of murdering NASCAR star Bobby East at a California gas station last week has been fatally shot by law enforcement authorities.
East, 37, a three-time US Auto Club champion, was fueling up at a Westminster, CA gas station on Wednesday, when he was stabbed in the chest. The stock car driver was found on the ground by first responders at 5:51pm. Paramedics attempted to save his life, but the injury was too extensive to be treated medically, and East passed away at a local trauma center.
Police suspected Trent William Milsap, 27, a 6-foot five-inch “transient” man who was easily identifiable by his multiple head, face, and neck tattoos. They issued a warning that the homeless man was to be considered armed and dangerous, as he eluded capture for four days.
Law enforcement finally tracked him down to an apartment building in Anaheim, California on Saturday, but were not able to take Milsap into custody alive.
“The West County SWAT Team responded to serve a search/arrest warrant for the suspect. During the service of the search warrant, an officer involved shooting took place,” The Westminster police said in a statement.
The SWAT team was deployed because of the “level of violence” the suspect exhibited when he attacked East for unknown reasons. Milsap was on parole for armed robbery at the time he allegedly committed the murder, and reportedly had an outstanding warrant for a parole violation.
East was described by USAC Racing as “one of the most prolific drivers of his era. He won 56 feature victories during his career and won back-to-back USAC Silver Crown championships in 2012 and 2013.
The USAC community is shocked and saddened with the sudden passing of Bobby East, a three-time champion of the United States Auto Club,” said USAC President & CEO Kevin Miller. “On behalf of USAC, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a racer among racers.”