Family, friends struggle with Lukus Glenn shooting
- Barbara Sherman
- The Times - News
Mother said she thought 911 call would bring medical help
METZGER - Family and friends of 2006 Tigard High School graduate Lukus Glenn, who was killed by Washington County sheriff's deputies early Saturday morning, are trying to make sense of the tragedy.
His mother, Hope Glenn, called Luke 'a sensitive kid' who was sad that his friends were going to college this fall, while his college plans were on hold.
'He was good at football, soccer and track but didn't get a scholarship for this fall,' Hope Glenn said. 'He was planning to earn money and then go to Portland State University next fall so he could play football under (former THS coach) Frank Geske.
'Geske was his favorite person at THS. Luke looked forward to seeing him during the day at school and was devastated when he left.'
Geske paid a visit to the Glenn family Sunday evening.
'Besides all of the clichés, this all is a devastating thing for Hope and the family,' he said. 'Luke had a special relationship at home. It was a tight-knit family, and it will never be the same.'
Geske recalled seeing Luke at 6 in the morning at THS and again at night until the lights were turned off, 'kicking the football.'
'His work ethic was great,' Geske remembered. 'The guys on the team made him earn respect, and he more than earned it. He went out, did his job and then showed off that big smile of his.
'It's one of those things. You don't know what to say, and there's nothing anyone can do except try to ease each other's pain. This had been hard for a lot of people.'
Geske was the THS football coach during Luke's junior year in 2004, when the Metzger resident made six field goals, including a 44-yarder (a yard short of the school record) and kicked 41 extra points, including a school record of eight in one game.
Luke was a first-team All-Pacific-9 Conference selection at place-kicker that year.
Geske, who coaches running backs coach at PSU, said Luke hoped to try for a spot on the university team next spring.
'Make them stop'
Those dreams were dashed, following an evening that somehow spun out of control.
Hope Glenn talked to Luke earlier in the day, and he was excited about his plans.
The evening began innocently enough, with Luke going to a Wilson High School football game and dinner.
He came home around 1 a.m., dropped off by a friend who worried the young man was too drunk to drive.
After getting something to eat, he went outside and tried to open a shed that housed his dirt bike, getting angry when the door wouldn't open.
'I kept telling him to go to bed,' said Hope, who had woken up Luke's dad, Brad Glenn.
After breaking a sliding door, Luke got out a small folding pocketknife.
'We tried to stop him, and I called his friends Tony and David,' she said.
They also couldn't reason with Luke, who refused to hand over the knife and then put it to his throat.
Hope called 911 at 3:05 a.m., asking for someone to help her only child because she believed he was suicidal.
'He had broken car windows with his fist, so he was already bleeding,' Hope said. 'I signaled a friend to grab him from behind, and then the police arrived. They pulled their guns and kept yelling, 'Drop the knife. Do you understand?' and Luke kept telling them to stop screaming.
'A Tigard police officer shot bean bags at him, and he dropped his hands to his side, grabbed up his pants and sort of fell into the garage door. They shot him four times in the back. The bullets went into my mom's room. The police ran into the house to make sure no one else had been hit.'
Hope said her 72-year-old mother was in the house in the line of fire behind Luke, but fortunately was not hit.
'He was just trying to go to his grandma,' Hope said.
She cannot understand the action the police took.
'Luke was clean-cut,' she said. 'He had really short hair. He had on a T-shirt and no jacket - there was nowhere to hide a weapon. I yelled at the 911 operator, 'They're shooting him.' He was still breathing, and they didn't help him, and they let him die.
'I thought medical help would come when I called 911. That's what happens on TV. Luke kept yelling at me, 'Make them stop, make them stop. They're going to kill your son.' '
According to Hope, Luke was a good child who after high school was a little depressed - 'girl issues and not being able to play football.'
'He was trying to figure out how to go to school and play football again,' she said. 'He would never hurt a fly. He had no record. We never had to call the police on him. One time he rolled through a stop sign and had to go to traffic school.
'He was a very fun kid, always a jokester. Everyone called him 'the Kicker.' I was 'the Kicker's mom.' He told me someday he would play in the NFL and pay me back. He didn't deserve to die. (The police) didn't ask him what was going on - they just drew their guns and started yelling.'
The Glenn family has a long history in Metzger. The Glenns bought Hope's parents' house there when they got married and raised Luke in the family home. He attended Metzger Elementary and Fowler Middle School before THS.
A fund to help pay for his funeral expenses has been set up at U S Bank, and donations can be made at any branch to the Lukus Glenn fund.
(For more reaction to the shooting from family and friends and more photos see the full print version in Thursday's Times.)