Round Lake OKs health benefits for former police officer who shot Grayslake man
Officer didn't return to duty after fatally shooting Grayslake man
A Round Lake police officer who did not return to duty after she fatally shot a man in 2016 will receive health care coverage from the village until she is 65.
The village is covering $1,300 a year in health insurance premiums for Valerie Liss on her husband's employer insurance plan, said Village Administrator Steven Shields. The coverage falls under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act, which provides free health insurance benefits to full-time police officers who are "catastrophically injured" in the line of duty.
A catastrophic injury has been defined by the Illinois Supreme Court as any injury that qualifies an officer for a line-of-duty disability pension, Shields said.
The Round Lake Police Pension Board awarded Liss such a pension beginning in December 2019. The initial amount was $54,173 a year.
Round Lake Mayor Dan MacGillis and Shields said Liss has had post-traumatic stress disorder since the shooting.
On Sept. 2, 2016, Liss was responding to a disturbance call when she saw Michael Musson Jr. slamming his body into the front door of the house of someone who complained to police. He was hurling items at the house and she saw remnants of broken glass in the area, police reports said.
Musson, 22, of Grayslake, tried to attack Liss with a piece of broken glass after pinning her to the ground, according to a report by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. She freed herself, then shot and killed Musson as he was about to charge at her again, the report said.
According to a coroner's report, Musson had LSD in his system at the time of his death.
After a 10-month investigation of the shooting by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, State's Attorney Michael Nerheim ruled that Liss' use of deadly force was justified.
Michael Musson's mother, Arona Musson, filed a federal lawsuit against the village and Liss in 2017, arguing that police used excessive force.
Court records show the case was settled in February 2020 for $600,000, with about $400,000 being divided between Musson's five heirs and $200,000 going to the family's attorney, Jeffrey Granich.
Liss' attorney, Thomas Mazur, declined to comment.