Former Harrisonburg Lyft driver involved in shooting found not guilty

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A former Harrisonburg Lyft driver who shot a gun back in 2019 while dropping off riders was found not guilty on all charges in Rockingham County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Ryan Liskey was charged with brandishing a firearm, assault and battery, and recklessly using a firearm after an altercation between five other people that lead to Liskey firing a gun.

In 2020, both the brandishing of a firearm and assault and battery charges were dropped but the third charge remained.

During the closing arguments of the two-day jury trial, Liskey’s attorney told the jury his actions were out of self-defense.

He told the jury, Liskey was driving a group of people headed to a party on Devon Lane the early morning of Sunday, Nov. 3 and when he went to park, his vehicle became surrounded by five other people.

The defense said those five people were intoxicated and began beating on Liskey’s car while one was jumping on his hood.

The attorney said the group Liskey was driving then exited the vehicle leaving the doors open.

The attorney said Liskey went outside of his car to begin shutting his doors when he was approached and assaulted by the group.

Liskey used pepper spray on two of the people but was punched from behind by another person causing a hairline fracture in his jaw and for him to fall to the ground.

Liskey’s attorney said at that moment, Liskey’s final resort was getting back up, pointing a gun at one of the attackers, and shooting a bullet that hit the berm behind the group of people in the parking lot.

During closing remarks, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney argued the embankment did not make shooting the gun safe and that it was clear the pepper spray worked on two others. She said Liskey should have continued to use the spray.

After less than an hour of deliberating, the jury came to a not guilty verdict and Liskey’s charge was dismissed.

Regarding Liskey’s ability to drive for Lyft again, Liskey had no comment as of Tuesday but it is against Lyft’s policy for drivers to carry guns.

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