Former NASCAR driver stabbed to death at California gas station, homeless murder suspect killed by police

An alleged suspect in the fatal stabbing of a former NASCAR driver was reportedly shot and killed during a SWAT raid on Friday.

An assailant allegedly plunged a knife into retired champion driver Bobby East, 37, at a California gas station where East was fueling up his car on Wednesday at about 6 p.m. local time.

This tragic incident occurred in Orange County, Cal., just south of crime-ridden Los Angles. East was a three-time United States Auto Club champion and was highly respected in the professional racing community. Tributes in his memory have poured in on social media.

East was the son of USAC Hall of Fame car builder Bob East.

First responders to the scene found East on the ground with a serious chest wound and rendered aid. He was pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital.

In a press release, Westminster, Cal., PD, explained what happened in a the follow-up investigation:

 On Friday, July 15, 2022, Westminster Police Department detectives received information a wanted homicide suspect was in an apartment located in the 3300 block of Lincoln Avenue in the City of Anaheim. 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. No officers were injured; however, a police K-9 sustained a single gunshot wound that was not life threatening. The Westminster Police Department, along with members of the Orange County District Attorney’s office are currently investigating the shooting.

The investigation by detectives is ongoing.

A prior press release before the raid appeared to identify the alleged suspect as Trent William Millsap, 27, who had an outstanding parole warrant. Cops described him as a transient and who was considered “armed and dangerous.”

According to the Daily Mail, the suspect was “accused of stabbing another man at the 76 gas station before allegedly attacking East.”

In a lengthy statement in his honor, USAC Racing described East as “one of the most prolific drivers of his era,” and who “captured 56 career USAC-sanctioned feature victories, 48 of them in national divisions.”

The statement went on to explain, “Bobby was an immediate success in his USAC career.  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. In his career, East totaled 22 USAC National Midget feature wins.”

East called it a career in 2014.

In the video embedded below, CBS Los Angeles claimed that the suspect in the attack was on parole for armed robbery.

In a statement, NASCAR said the organization “was saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bobby East. We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a true racer.”

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