Barney Creator's Son Officially Charged with Neighbor's Attempted Murder

Patrick Leach has also been arraigned on assault charges

Patrick Leach has been officially charged with the attempted murder of one of his Malibu neighbors in early January.

He is the son of Sheryl Leach, reputed children's books author and the creator of the Barney & Friends TV show. Wikipedia lists her son's interest in dinosaurs as the main reason for portraying Barney as one. Her initial choice of character was a teddy bear.

As we also reported at the time, Leach shot Eric Shanks, then fled the scene as police arrived. The incident occurred on January 9, in the upscale West Winding Way area where both the suspect and the victim lived.

According to neighbors' accounts, an argument over a property issue escalated into an armed assault. The two were heard arguing loudly before gunshots were fired.

A representative for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office confirms that Leach has been charged with attempted murder. TMZ adds that he has also been arraigned for assault on Tuesday, February 5.

49-year-old Shanks was found bleeding on the floor of his apartment, having been shot in the chest. Police reports mention evidence discovered at the scene, linking Leach to the crime. The nature of the evidentiary items has not been disclosed as of yet.

The suspect was pulled over by police as he drove away from the scene of the shooting in a black SUV. He was stopped on Kanan Road, south of Cornell Road in Agoura Hills, LA.

“There was no vehicular pursuit and the suspect exhibited no threatening behavior while being taken into custody,” arresting officer Lt. Matthew Squire described at the time.

The victim is currently recovering from non-life-threatening wounds, for which he has been treated at the local UCLA Medical Center. Meanwhile, Leach is free, having posted the $1 million (€740,000) bail.

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