In 911 call, the agony of a teens last 4 minutes
- Mateusz Perkowski
- The Times - News
Lukus Glenn's mother tells dispatchers her son 'just wants to die tonight'
Listening to the recording of Hope Glenn relating her son Lukus' frantic behavior to a 911 dispatcher is akin to watching an impending wreck in slow motion. Throughout the ordeal, it seemed the 18-year-old man was intent on suicide.
'You kill me or I kill me,' Lukus Glenn roared at police.
'He's saying he kills himself or they kill him,' his mother told the dispatcher. 'He just wants to die tonight.'
Lukus' fatal confrontation with sheriff's deputies began when he returned to his family's house at 9225 S.W. 80th Ave. in Metzger early Saturday morning after a night of drinking.
According to his mother, Lukus was intoxicated and flew into a rage when his parents wouldn't give him keys to a car.
At about 3 a.m., Hope Glenn called emergency dispatchers. By the time deputies arrived, her son had smashed windows of his family's vehicles with his fists and a shovel, busted open the home's front door, grabbed a pocketknife and held the weapon to his throat.
'Put it down, Luke!'
Deputies who arrived in the otherwise quiet neighborhood found Lukus bloodied and agitated in the driveway of the home. His mother was in the doorway and two friends were on a nearby lawn attempting to calm the young man.
Sheriff's deputies Mikhail Gerba, 27, and Timothy Mateski, 26, and Tigard Police Officer Andrew Pastore, 29, faced a dangerous situation: Lukus repeatedly mentioned harming not only himself, but also those around him.
'He keeps threatening to kill everybody,' Hope Glenn told the dispatcher. 'He said he's not going down without killing someone.'
Lukus' encounter with law enforcement lasted about four minutes, during which time deputies and the Tigard officer ordered him to stop wielding the knife and drop to the ground.
Meanwhile, his friends and his mother pleaded with him to cooperate.
'Put it down Luke!' Hope Glenn cried. 'I don't want to see you die!'
As she spoke into the phone to the dispatcher, profanities and shouting in the background suggested that tension was rising. Watching from the doorway, Hope Glenn predicted the night would end in tragedy and regretted her decision to involve deputies.
'I shouldn't have called but I was so scared,' she said with resigned misery. 'They're going to kill him.'
Seconds after the dispatcher reassured Hope Glenn that the policemen's intention was to help resolve the situation, not hurt her son, the first blast of several rounds of 'bean bags' was heard.
The bean bags - officially known as extended range impact munitions - are intended to inflict pain, not death.
They proved ineffective in subduing Lukus.
When Lukus appeared 'unfazed' by the 2-square-inch lead-shot projectiles and began heading toward the door of his family's home, the two sheriff's deputies feared for the lives of the people inside the house and decided to use lethal force, officials say.
After the rapid burst of gunfire was heard on the tape, Lukus' mother made one last statement to the dispatcher.
'They shot him and killed him,' Hope Glenn said in an agonized voice, then dropped the phone.
The two deputies who ended Lukus' life, as well as the Tigard officer who shot him with bean bags, are on administrative leave while the case is investigated by the Washington County Major Crimes Unit.
The unit's findings will be evaluated by the district attorney, who will decide whether the shooting was justified.
'If he thinks there's any possibility of criminal indictments, he'll hand it over to a grand jury,' said Dave Thompson, public information officer for the sheriff's office.
According to Lt. John Black of the sheriff's office's services division, an expert on use-of-force policy and procedures, the decision to kill a suspect is an unfortunate but occasionally necessary part of law enforcement.
'We are sworn to serve and protect, and sometimes that involves life-or-death decisions,' Black said, adding that police officers and deputies are psychologically evaluated and repeatedly trained to use force appropriately.
'No deputy ever signs on thinking they're going to take a human life.'
Sheriff's deputies are permitted to use force in four circumstances: in self-defense, to defend another person, to prevent escape or to affect an arrest.
The degree of force used - be it through pepper spray, a baton, a taser, or a firearm - depends on three other factors: the suspect's intent, means and opportunity to do harm.
Despite popular notions of violence in law enforcement, force hasn't been used very often by Washington County officers, Black said. Of the nearly 140,000 incidents the sheriff's office responded to in 2005, he said only about 500 involved force of any kind.
While run-ins with the law that end in death are tragic, officers must consider the consequences of not using deadly force - it may result in many more lives being lost or destroyed, Black said.
'A lot of it has to do with the totality of what you're looking at,' he said.
911 Partial Transcript
Below is an excerpt and partial transcript of the 911 call from Hope Glenn to Washington County Dispatch on Sept. 16 at 3:05 a.m.
DISPATCH: 911. What's your emergency?
HOPE GLENN: I need the cops to my house immediately I have a son that is out of control busting out windows and has a knife and is threatening us.
HOPE GLENN: He's busting out car windows. He's trying to get keys to a car, he's drunk.
DISPATCH: What kind of a knife is it?
HOPE GLENN: It's just a pocketknife, I think.
(Background noise: obscenities)
DISPATCH: Can you guys get away from him?
HOPE GLENN: Yeah, but he's wrecking everything here. We're just trying to talk to him… He's threatening to kill himself if the cops come here. He's already bleeding pretty bad… He's been busting out all the windows with his hands. He's just really, really intoxicated… His two friends are here trying to talk sense into him but he's not listening. He says he's not leaving until the cops shoot him and kill him… He busted out all our car windows. He's angry because we won't give him keys…
DISPATCH: Can you lock the door so he stays outside?
HOPE GLENN: Well he's busting all our house windows. If I shut the door he's already busted our front door… He just keeps threatening to kill everybody… he's just not in the right head… He says when the cops get here he's gonna stab himself in the neck.
DISPATCHER: We'll have the paramedics come as well.
HOPE GLENN: He said he's not going down without killing someone. We're gonna watch him die tonight.
DISPATCHER: Does he have a history of suicide?
HOPE GLENN: No… he attempted it once before I think. You know he was really depressed
HOPE GLENN: Shut the door. Shut the door. Don't let him in.
HOPE GLENN: He's walking towards us. He says he's killing himself right now… as soon as the cops get here.
HOPE GLENN: He says he's gonna run at the cop with the knife. He wants the cop to shoot him.
Deputy issuing commands: Sheriff's office. Get on the ground now.
HOPE GLENN: Put it down. Put it down. I don't wanna see you die.
HOPE GLENN: Don't let them shoot him. Please don't let them shoot him.
(Sounds of deputies ordering Lukus to drop the knife)
HOPE GLENN: They're gonna kill, they're gonna shoot him.
DISPATCHER: What's going on now?
HOPE GLENN: They're telling him to drop the knife or they're going to shoot him.
LUKUS: You kill me or I kill me.
HOPE GLENN: He's saying he kills himself or they kill him. He just wants to die tonight.
HOPE GLENN: I can't shut the door he busted it.
DISPATCHER: Can you move to another part of the house where you're safe?
HOPE GLENN: I'm safe right now, I think. Unless he comes running in here.
HOPE GLENN: He's so drunk.
(Sound of gunfire)
HOPE GLENN: They shot him… they killed him.
Approximately four minutes elapsed between when the deputies arrived and the first beanbag round was fired. Deputies were issuing repeated commands to Glenn during this four-minute period to drop the knife.