Former freeway shooting suspect settles lawsuit

By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Glendale Star Editor

Over two years after being released from jail, Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. who was accused of being the Arizona freeway shooting suspect in 2015 has settled a lawsuit with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
The agreement is for an undisclosed amount of money and final details were not released. In the original notice of claim, Merritt’s attorneys were asking for $10 million in damages.
Merritt was arrested in September 2015 and accused of being the shooter in a string of shootings along freeways throughout the state. In the shootings, bullets broke windows, were lodged in vehicles, but none of the people involved in the shootings were injured.
Merritt, 21, from Glendale, was charged with 28 felony counts, including aggravated assault, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and intentional acts of terrorism.
He was arrested at the Walmart on Northern and 55th avenues in Glendale by Department of Public Safety SWAT.
Merritt’s lawyer, Jason Lamm, did not returns calls but original filings of the lawsuit alleged false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and aiding and abetting tortious conduct.
Initially, Gov. Doug Ducey was named in the suit, after Ducey tweeted “We got him!” when Merritt was arrested and before any announcement was released.
The original suit named the state of Arizona, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Maricopa County as defendants, as well as various John and Jane Does.
“This is not a case against police,” Merritt’s original attorney David Don told reporters during a Sept. 13, 2016 news conference announcing the suit. “This is a case against poor police work.”
Merritt was charged Sept. 23, 2015 with a total of 15 felony counts, which included three counts of carrying out a drive-by shooting, five counts of aggravated assault, three counts of unlawfully discharging a firearm, three counts of disorderly conduct, and one count of endangerment.

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