Bobby East was killed following an altercation at a gas station in southern California
Bobby East, the American stock car racer who rose to prominence in the world of NASCAR, has died after he was stabbed in an altercation at a southern California gas station. He was 37.
A statement issued by the Westminster Police Department on Saturday identified East as the man who died at a 76 gas station this past Wednesday. The suspect, Trent William Millsap, was killed by police in Anaheim on Friday as they attempted to apprehend him.
No motive has yet been established in East’s death, but police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of his death – as well as for Millsap’s fatal shooting by arresting officers.
Police say they arrived at the gas station around 6pm local time last Wednesday where East was discovered suffering from a stab wound. The suspect had left the scene.
East was subsequently taken to University of California, Irvine Medical Center, where he died shortly after.
“NASCAR is saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bobby East,” they said in a statement.
“We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bobby, a true racer.”
Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East. He was one heck of a wheelman. Thoughts and prayers to his family
— Todd Bodine (Official) (@Team_Onion) July 16, 2022
🚨 #PressRelease: Homicide at Gas Station
On July 13, 2022, at about 5:51 pm, WPD officers responded to the 76 gas station (6322 Westminster Blvd.) re: a stabbing. Trent William Millsap is suspected of stabbing the victim.
— Westminster PD (CA) (@WestminsterPDCA) July 14, 2022
NASCAR veteran Todd Bodine also spoke of his sorrow online, tweeting: “Very sad to hear of the tragic incident involving Legend USAC driver Bobby East. He was one heck of a wheelman.”
East came from a racing family, with his father Bob a prominent in the construction of short-track cars. He won the USAC’s National Midgets title in 2004 as well as claiming victory in the 2012 and 2013 Silver Crown championships.
His list of achievements also shows 56 wins in USAC-sanctioned races – with 48 of those coming in national divisions.
In 2001, East made history by becoming the youngest driver to win a USAC National Midget race. He was just 16 years old at the time.
He later made 11 starts in what is now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Westminster authorities added that the alleged perpetrator, who was 27 years old, was on parole for armed robbery at the time of the stabbing, and was also the subject of an arrest warrant for a separate parole violation.