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Man suspected of murdering NASCAR driver killed by police during Westminster raid

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A man who allegedly stabbed and killed a veteran car racer at a Westminster gas station was killed Friday night by police after a warrant was served at an Anaheim apartment building.

Westminster Police Department detectives, with help from neighboring law enforcement agencies, attempted to issue the warrant at the apartment building on the 3300 block of Lincoln Avenue.

The subject of the warrant was identified as: Trent William Millsap, a 27-year-old transient man believed to be the suspect in Thursday’s fatal stabbing.

Kubo, a Cypress Police Department police dog, was shot during a raid on an apartment building in Westminster on Friday, July 15, 2022 (Cypress Police Department)

Because Millsap was believed to be armed and dangerous, the West County SWAT team — made up of officers from Cypress, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Westminster and Seal Beach — also assisted in the response.

At one point during the command duty, Millsap had a confrontation with officers, which led them to open fire. It is not clear whether the suspect called the police or not.

Millsap was taken to hospital for treatment, but died of injuries sustained in the shooting.

Police say Milsap was on parole for armed robbery and had an pending arrest warrant for an unrelated parole offence.

No law enforcement officers were injured in the shooting, but a Cypress Police Department police dog was hit in the ear by gunfire.

The dog, whose name is Kubo according to police, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local vet for treatment. Police say the dog is expected to make a full recovery and is currently at home with its handler.

Police confirmed on Saturday that the victim of the stabbing that died at the gas station was a former race car driver with stints in NASCAR and the independent circuit.

Bobby East at media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2006 in Daytona, Florida.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
Bobby East at media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2006 in Daytona, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)

He has been identified by police as Robert John East, 38, of San Dimas.

According to the United States Auto Club, “Bobby” East was a multiple-time USAC champion.

A USAC release described East as “one of the most prolific drivers of his time”, having been a three-time USAC champion in several racing categories.

“East captured 56 USAC-approved feature wins, 48 ​​of which were in national divisions,” USAC said.

East was born in Torrance, but spent most of his career calling Brownsburg, Indiana, his home.

Though killed at the gas station, law enforcement officials said East was not pumping gas, as reported by other news outlets. Originally reported by police as a co-perishable, East’s most recent address is in San Dimas.

His death is still under investigation by Westminster Police, who will also investigate the shooting that resulted in Millsap’s death at Anaheim’s apartment. Members of the Orange County District Attorney’s office are currently assisting the Westminster Police Department with that investigation.


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