NASCAR star Bobby East, 37, died after being stabbed at a California gas station, with his suspected murderer killed in a SWAT raid just two days later.
East was fueling up in Westminster on Wednesday when he was stabbed to death in the chest. East was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Days later, police later shot and killed Trent William Millsap, 27, a homeless man on parole, who allegedly stabbed the three-time US Auto Club (USAC) champ, in a SWAT raid, according to law enforcement sources, TMZ reports.
A SWAT team executed a search warrant at an apartment in nearby Anaheim on Friday. Millsap was shot and killed on the scene as the police were trying to arrest him. The Orange County DA is investigating the shooting.
‘The victim was found on the ground suffering from a serious stab wound to the chest area,’ Westminister Police said in a statement regarding East’s murder. ‘Officers attempted life saving measures until OCFA paramedics arrived and transported the victim to a local trauma center, where the victim succumbed to his injury.’
A police SWAT team reportedly shot and killed Trent William Millsap, 27, (above) a homeless man on parole, who allegedly stabbed three-time US Auto Club (USAC) champ Bobby East outside a California gas station
NASCAR star Bobby East, 37, (above) died after being stabbed at a California gas station
Police were looking for Trent William Millsap, 27, who allegedly stabbed East and another man at a gas station in Westminster, California on Wednesday
Police said first responders rushed to the 76 gas station on Westminster Boulevard to aid the victim, who was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injury
Police said Millsap, a transient who frequents Westminster, Anaheim and Garden Grove, is also accused of stabbing another man at the 76 gas station before allegedly attacking East.
Officials said Millsap, who has distinct tattoos all over his body, was considered armed and dangerous. The homeless man also had an outstanding parole warrant.
Westminster Police did not immediately reply to DailyMail.com’s request for more information on the case.
East was a star in the racing world, capturing three USAC national driving titles and winning the SAC Silver Crown championships in 2004, 2012 and 2013. Born in Torrance, California, East made his home throughout his racing career in Brownsburg, Indiana, according to USAC Racing.
Hitting the scene in 2001, East was seen as a natural on the racetrack given that he’s the son of USAC Hall of Fame car builder Bob East. The younger East was not married and did not have any children.
East found his first victory at the USAC National Midgets in 2001, becoming the youngest winner ever at the time at 16, and he was awarded the USAC’s Rookie of the Year.
The USAC dubbed him ‘the winningest USAC National Midget Rookie in more than a quarter century.’
He totaled 22 USAC National Midget wins during his career, and raced in 42 NASCAR national competitions between 2005 and 2008.
Following news of East’s tragic passing, many fans and fellow racers took to Twitter to mourn the 37-year-old.
The US Auto Club champ was a star in the racing world, which once dubbed him ‘the winningest’ rookie in more than a quarter century
Many took to Twitter to mourn the tragic death of the race car driver after the news broke on Friday
Two-time NASCAR Champion and Fox Sports analyst Todd Bodine said, ‘Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East.
‘He was one heck of a wheelman. Thoughts and prayers to his family.’
Charles Krall, communications manager at the Automobile Racing Club of America, echoed praise for East’s driving skills and mourned his loss in the racing world.
‘In an open wheel car, there was no one better,’ Krall tweeted. ‘So sorry to hear the news today.
‘My love and thoughts are with his parents Bob and Janice, and the entire East family. Race in peace Bobby.’
Racing fan Daniel Kriete also mourned East on Twitter, writing: ‘R.I.P. Bobby East, my prayers and condolences go out to his family.’
Another racing fan on Twitter, Paul Dalbey, repeated praise for the late driver.
‘Just saw Bobby East passed away. Man, that dude could wheel it in anything for USACNation,’ Dalbey wrote. ‘A great driver!’
The murder of East took place in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles, which has seen an increase in violent crime this year.
Violent crime is up 8.2 percent in Los Angeles as woke DA George Gascon is expected to face a recall election
Violent crime is up 8.2 percent in LA County, with robberies up 20.8 percent over last year and aggravated assaults up 5 percent.
While rapes and homicides have gone down so far this year, the number of shooting victims rose more than 3 percent, from 708 reports last year to 730 this year.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, property crimes are up 13.6 percent from last year, with personal thefts up 16.6 percent.
The spike in crime has garnered backlash against woke District Attorney George Gascon, who is now almost certain to face a recall election for his soft policies.
Last week, activists submitted 717,000 signatures to force a recall vote – well over the 566,857 required by the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.
Recall activists hope to put the option to recall Gascon on the November ballot, and he is likely to face the same fate as former San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, who was kicked out of his post last month over a crime spike blamed on similar policies.
Given the soaring crime rate and East’s murder, many have criticized not only LA and Orange County, but of California as a whole.
Many claimed that California Gov. Gavin Newsom and LA DA George Gascon were to blame for the rise in violent crime across Southern California, with East only the latest victim of the surge
One Twitter user with the handle @heaveniscallin1 wrote: ‘This is so tragic thoughts and prayers for the surviving family and friends of Bobby East.
‘I’m homeless here in Southern California and the crime is skyrocketing out of control it’s at a point now that we need military intervention.’
Another Twitter user with the handle @parky661 echoed the criticism levied against the state and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
‘RIP Bobby East,’ the Twitter user wrote. ‘THIS is @GavinNewsom California. NOT the Utopia that he sees from his gated estate.’
Twitter user Tosirwithlove5 also blamed Gascon and his soft-on-crime policies, writing: ‘That thing that killed Bobby East also accused of stabbing a victim at another gas station. Since we know Gascon could care less about victims of crime that freak will be back on the streets soon.’
Another Twitter user with the handle @dr1959 simply wrote: ‘LA is the armpit of the US. hey elect me Democrats this is what you get.’