Former NASCAR driver Bobby East fatally stabbed in California

Police fatally shot suspect Trent William Millsap in connection to the deadly stabbing of NASCAR's Bobby East

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Former NASCAR driver Bobby East was fatally stabbed at a gas station in California last week.

East, a three-time United States Auto Club (USAC) National Champion driver in USAC Silver Crown and Midgets, died Wednesday after being stabbed in the chest at a 76 gas station on Westminster Blvd. in Westminster, California, according to the USAC and police.

"East was phenomenal in USAC National Sprint Cars as well, most notably on pavement tracks," the USAC said in a Friday statement. "He tallied 15 wins in the series, with the first coming in 2003 at Ohio’s Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. He also prevailed at the Milwaukee Mile in 2005 in what remains as the last USAC Sprint Car race held on a one-mile track."

Police found East on the ground suffering from a "serious chest wound" upon arrival and transported him to a nearby trauma center, where he was pronounced dead.

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The Westminster Police Department named suspect Trent William Millsap, who fled the scene before police arrived, as the suspect in East's killing.

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A SWAT team fatally shot the suspect, who had an outstanding parole warrant and was considered armed and dangerous, at an apartment complex on Friday.

East was born in California and later moved to Brownsburg, Indiana, to pursue his racing career, according to USAC.

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"Bobby was an immediate success in his USAC career," the auto club said in its press release. "His first career triumph with the USAC National Midgets in 2001 at Schererville, Indiana’s Illiana Motor Speedway made Bobby the youngest USAC national feature winner ever at the time, at the age of 16.  His three winning performances in 2001 made him the winningest USAC National Midget Rookie in more than a quarter century. Ultimately, he was rewarded as the series’ Rookie of the Year."

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident contact the Westminster Police Department at 714-548-3212. Tipsters can also anonymously contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or at www.occrimestoppers.org.