Former NASCAR driver Robert “Bobby” East was fatally stabbed at a Westminster gas station on July 13. The suspect was shot and killed during an “officer-involved shooting” on July 15.
According to a press release from the Westminster Police Department, officers responded just before 6 p.m. to a stabbing at the 76 gas station on 6322 Westminster Blvd. Officers found East “on the ground suffering from a serious stab wound to the chest area,” the statement said.
Paramedics transported East to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center where he passed away due to his injuries.
The police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Trent William Millsap. Millsap fled the scene before police arrival and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest prior to the stabbing for armed robbery. The motive behind the stabbing is unclear.
East was a three-time United States Auto Club (USAC) national champion. He was 16 when he became the youngest USAC national feature winner in 2001.
“The USAC community is shocked and saddened with the sudden passing of Bobby East … On behalf of USAC, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a racer among racers,” USAC President and CEO Kevin Miller said in a statement.
Westminster Police Department detectives learned Millsap was living in an apartment in the 3300 block of Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim. They dispatched the West County SWAT Team to the residence to serve a search and arrest warrant due to “the level of violence [Millsap] has been exhibiting,” Westminster Police Department Cmdr. Kevin MacCormick told The Orange County Register.
Millsap reportedly became confrontational while authorities attempted to arrest him. A police K-9 was deployed during the shootout when at least one officer shot Millsap. Millsap was then transported to UCI Medical Center and pronounced dead.
While no officers were injured during the shootout, the K-9 sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to a veterinary hospital.
The Westminster Police Department is currently investigating the shooting with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Yuika Yoshida is a 2022-2023 Campus News Editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.