Bobby East, a stock car driver who competed in NASCAR's lower circuits and won three titles with the USAC, died after being fatally stabbed during an altercation at a gas station on Wednesday, local police confirmed to KTLA. He was 37 years old.
Police in Westminster, part of north Orange County, California, had previously announced the stabbing occurred without identifying East, but his death has since been confirmed by a release from the USAC.
The alleged suspect, Trent William Millsap, reportedly fled the scene and was killed by a SWAT team two days later on Friday during the service of an arrest warrant at an Anaheim apartment building. Millsap allegedly became confrontational with officers during the warrant service, leading to them opening fire.
Millsap was reportedly taken to the hospital for treatment, but died from his wounds. No police officers were reportedly injured, but a police dog was struck in the ear by gunfire.
There have been conflicting reports on what preceded East's stabbing. Some outlets initially reported East to have been pumping gas before getting into an argument with Millsap, but law enforcement officials told KTLA that wasn't the case.
Millsap was out on parole for an armed robbery and had an outstanding arrest warrant for an unrelated parole violation, per KTLA. Police described him as armed and dangerous following the stabbing.
The son of a USAC Hall of Fame car builder, East became the youngest driver to ever win a USAC national feature winner when he won at Illiana Motor Speedway at the age of 16 in 2001. He won two more USAC National Midget races that year, earning Rookie of the Year honors.
East would go onto win USAC Silver Crown championships in 2004, 2012 and 2013. He also made 11 career starts in what is now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series, a level below the Cup series, and saw two top-10 finishes in 31 Truck Series races.