NASCAR driver Bobby East was killed in a stabbing at a Westminster, California gas station on Wednesday. Trent William Millsap, 27, was named as the suspect behind the slaying by police, and a manhunt led to his death in a later shootout. East was rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead shortly after.
"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 statement reads (via Deadline).
According to Fox News, East was discovered on the ground of the station with a "serious chest wound." The suspect had fled the scene before police arrived, with a SWAT team confronting him on Friday at an apartment complex where a shootout reportedly occurred, leading to the suspect's death.
USAC released a statement on East's passing, noting his success in the racing league and his promising future before the tragic stabbing. "East was phenomenal in USAC National Sprint Cars as well, most notably on pavement tracks," the statement reads. "He tallied 15 wins in the series, with the first coming in 2003 at Ohio's Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. He also prevailed at the Milwaukee Mile in 2005 in what remains the last USAC Sprint Car race held on a one-mile track.
"Bobby was an immediate success in his USAC career," USAC continued. "His first career triumph with the USAC National Midgets in 2001 at Schererville, Indiana's Illiana Motor Speedway made Bobby the youngest USAC national feature winner ever at the time, at the age of 16. His three winning performances in 2001 made him the winningest USAC National Midget Rookie in more than a quarter century. Ultimately, he was rewarded as the series' Rookie of the Year."
East also had 11 races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and 31 races in the Camping World Truck Series, with two top 10 finishes and one pole position placement. He was also part of the Ford driver development program. Rest in peace.