A United States Marine was shot dead and his wife was injured during a robbery that took place minutes after the couple left a bar where they were celebrating her birthday.
Lance Cpl. Jonathan Price, 26, and his wife, Megan, were leaving Austin City Saloon in Lexington, Kentucky, at about 1:30 a.m. on June 21 when they were targeted by two men – one of whom was armed – who demanded their money, reports the Daily News. The suspects, who are still on the loose, reportedly stole Price’s bi-fold wallet, which featured the Marine Corps emblem, as well as Megan’s teal cross-body purse.
The criminals then shot Price in the back and shot his wife in the leg while she was in the saloon’s parking lot. The couple was rushed to the University of Kentucky Hospital, where Price was pronounced dead. Megan, a hair stylist at Posh Salon & Spa – who was preparing to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary with Price – was injured but survived.
Price worked at Link-Belt and attended Southland Christian Church, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. His mother called him a “blessing,” and his friends have described him as a loyal person who led a good, honest life and inspired others to do the same.
“He just seemed genuinely happy, and I’m like, well maybe if I act more like him, then maybe I’ll have a happier life,” fellow Marine Austin Alford told Lex18.com. “If he knew that you needed him, he would be there, and he’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.”
Police initially believed the shooting occurred after the couple had a confrontation with a panhandler, but their investigation thus far has proven it was a random act of violence. They are asking for help in identifying and locating the men responsible for this crime.
The first suspect is described as a black man about 5-foot-7 or 5-foot-9 who was wearing a black T-shirt with lettering across it, blue jeans and white sneakers. The second suspect is a thin black man about 5-foot-7 or 5-foot-9 with shoulder-length dreadlocks. He was reportedly wearing a white T-shirt and carrying a silver handgun.
“This is a situation where it was at night, so we need people, if you saw anything, if you heard anything, if you saw anyone in the area who was running who looked out of place, please give us a call,” said Lexington Police spokeswoman Sharelle Roberts.
A gofundme.com webpage has been created, and Megan’s coworkers are planning to host a “cut-a-thon” fundraiser to help raise money for the Marine’s widow.