Five men targeted in a road rage shooting in Lehi are suing the man who allegedly fired at them for $25 million.
On Jan. 25, the five men were carpooling southbound on Interstate 15 near Lehi. According to court documents, Jesse David Luker began tailgating their truck while they were driving in the HOV lane. The two drivers changed lanes several times to try to get in front of each other, swerving at each other. Eventually, Luker pulled out a handgun and fired several shots from his truck toward the other truck, police said.
Two of the men were shot, and both required surgery. According to the lawsuit, George Acosta Ruiz was struck near his spinal cord and is now partially paralyzed; and Edgar Escamilla, who was driving, was struck in the buttocks.
In connection with the shooting, Luker has been charged with several felonies, including attempted murder. He was booked into the Utah County jail.
The men’s lawsuit accuses Luker of assault and battery, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. In court documents, lawyers representing the group allege that Luker’s conduct was “outrageous and intolerable,” and that the plaintiffs suffered both emotional and physical harm because of his actions.
“We filed this civil lawsuit to loudly declare that conduct like this is unacceptable. We live in a society of laws and there is no place in it for Wild West gunslinging on the interstate,” attorney Ron Kramer said in a statement about the lawsuit.
The men suing Luker are Ruiz, Escamilla, Paul Bernardino, Eduardo Hernandez and Jose Antonio Vazquez. The $25 million they seek is for punitive damages, as well as to cover medical expenses and attorney fees.
“The punitive damages we seek in this case are to send a message to Luker and others out there that if they engage in this type of conduct that not only will there be serious criminal consequences, there will also be significant financial consequences,” Kramer said in the statement.