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Attorney: Family satisfied with settlement in police shooting

Attorney says he knew officer was on leave during negotiations in $700,000 settlement

Deshira Selimaj funeral

Zyber Selimaj stands next to his wife's coffin during the memorial service for Deshira Selimaj at the Islamic Society of Nevada in Las Vegas Thursday, Feburary 28, 2008. Deshira Selimaj was shot and killed by a Henderson police officer at the scene of a traffic stop near Coronado High School in Henderson. Launch slideshow »

Henderson Police Press Conference

On Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, Chief Richard Perkins of the Henderson police department, held a press conference to address the shooting of 42-year-old Deshira Selimaj by police officer Luke Morrison.

An attorney representing the widower of a woman shot and killed by a Henderson Police officer in 2008 said he knew during negotiations with the city that the officer has been placed on administrative leave for a separate issue, but said it didn’t significantly affect his case.

Attorney Marc Saggese, who represented Zyber Selimaj in the wrongful death suit Selimaj filed against the city in the death of his wife, Deshira Selimaj, said his client is satisfied with the $700,000 settlement approved today.

“I feel justice has been served,” Saggese said.

A Clark County Coroner’s jury ruled last year that the officer who pulled the trigger, Luke Morrison, was ruled justified in the shooting after Morrison and other officers testified that Deshira Selimaj threatened them with a knife after arriving at the scene where officers had pulled over Zyber Selimaj for a traffic violation.

Following the verdict, Zyber Selimaj filed a wrongful death suit against Henderson.

As the settlement was approved, Morrison was on paid administrative leave awaiting the outcome of an internal Henderson Police Department investigation into another matter. City officials confirmed Thursday that Morrison has been on leave for three weeks during the investigation, and that a resolution is expected next week.

Contacted at his home Friday, Morrison said he couldn’t discuss the matter.

Saggese said he was aware of Morrison’s administrative leave during the settlement negotiation process, though he said he did not find about it from Henderson officials or attorneys. Morrison’s leave was one of many factors that went into negotiations, he said.

“We’ve been working on settling this case for over four weeks,” Saggese said. “We took into account every aspect of the case, every piece of evidence and every witness statement.”

Saggese said he couldn’t discuss specifics of the settlement because of a non-disclosure agreement, though he did say his client was satisfied with the outcome and ready to begin moving on.

“It was a difficult situation for (Zyber Selimaj),” Saggese said. “No matter what figure we agreed to, his wife would never be brought back. That’s what has been the hardest aspect of this process for him. But he is content with this settlement and hopes to move on with the next chapter of his life with his family. That has been his ultimate purpose.”

A spokeswoman for Henderson said Thursday that the city stands by the coroner’s jury verdict, but that city officials and attorneys felt it would be in Henderson’s best interest to settle the case because of the expense and emotional toll that would be associated with a jury trial.

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