On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, star racer Bobby East was stabbed to death at a California gas station by a homeless man. The NASCAR icon was allegedly stabbed in the chest while he was fueling up. He was rushed to a local hospital, succumbing to his injuries. Police are yet to make any arrests.
The 37-year-old racer was allegedly attacked by a heavily tattooed homeless man who is being identified by police as Trent William Millsap. 27-year-old Millsap also wanted to stab another man at the 76 gas station. Police described him as a well-known transient with a warrant for arrest. Warnings were issued regarding the fugitive, believed to be armed and thus dangerous.
In a statement released hours after Bobby East's death, Westminster police said:
"The victim was found on the ground suffering from a serious stab wound to the chest area. 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."
Police were still searching for the alleged murderer days after the murder. Ongoing investigations are also trying to determine whether East and Millsap knew each other or whether the fatal attack was random.
Fans mourn the sudden demise of NASCAR hero Bobby East
The son of renowned car builder Bob East, the 37-year-old racer rose to global prominence when he was crowned the US Auto Club (USAC) champion on three different occasions. His accolades include winning the Silver Crown Series Championship twice in a row in 2012 and 2013. He became the youngest midget winner in the history of USAC at 16 in 2001. His racing career, though brutally cut short, was bright and inspiring.
The talented East bagged 22 USAC national midget feature victories throughout his prolific racing career. He also competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2007.
His tragic demise has rocked entire racing communities. In the last couple of hours, social media platforms have been flooded with an outpouring of grief from racing fans.
Colleagues and athletes expressed shock at the tragedy and anger at the crime leading to the star's loss. Condolences have poured in from all corners of the world.
In a recent development, Millsap, the prime suspect in Bobby East's murder, was cornered by the SWAT team during a raid in Anaheim. According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, he was shot and killed by the officers during the raid.
According to reports, the shootout occurred in an apartment unit at 3300 Lincoln Avenue. No police official suffered any life-threatening injuries. The Orange County District Attorney will investigate the shooting.