Unfortunately our website is having issues today. We are working diligently to resolve this problem. Please come back later.
Police, friends deal with aftermath of Glenn shooting
Washingon County investigates the case while Tigard police bear brunt of criticism
TIGARD - The fallout from the shooting of Lukus Glenn in Metzger on Sept. 16 is still reverberating among the law-enforcement agencies involved as well as at Tigard High School, where he graduated this year.
Luke's mother Hope called 9-1-1 at 3:05 that morning after the intoxicated and angry 18-year-old threatened to kill himself and his family, which consisted of his parents and grandmother. He could not be subdued by either them or the friends who had been called to the scene.
Four minutes after two Washington County Sheriff's deputies and a Tigard police officer arrived and repeatedly told Luke to drop the knife he was holding, the deputies, after watching Luke move toward the house where his mother, father and grandmother were holed up, shot and killed him.
While the Tigard officer, Andrew Pastore, 29, only shot beanbags at Glenn, which failed to subdue him, the department has been hit hard with criticism that it was responsible for Glenn's death.
'It's sad for the community, the family and the officers involved,' said Alan Orr, Tigard's assistant police chief. 'We're taking all the heat. The chief has gotten hate e-mails, and I've been taking calls. I was talking to Washington County, and the messages they've been receiving have been eight positive to one negative. We've had no positive feedback.
'Despite the media reports, the community thinks Tigard police used deadly force. We had the less-lethal force (beanbags and Tasers) - we were called (to the scene) for that.'
According to Orr, a person using non-lethal force does not usually use lethal force as well.
Using a Taser to stun Glenn was out of the question because they can only be used up to 21 feet away at the most, he said.
'A string is attached from the gun to the prongs, and the string is more likely to break at a longer distance,' Orr said.
Despite the fact that the knife Glenn was holding did not look that big or dangerous, the kill zone for a knife is 21 feet, according to Orr.
An armed person can cover that distance quicker than an officer can react, said Orr, adding that he has seen video of an officer stabbed by someone with a knife who was originally 21 feet away.
'I have seen pictures of the knife Luke was holding, and one blow from a knife like that can inflict lethal damage,' he said.
In this case, reasoning with Glenn was out of the question, no matter who was there.
'There are cases where you could have a triple-Ph.D. in psychiatry, and you're not going to get through to an individual,' Orr said.
Officers taking training
Tigard is in the process of sending all its sworn officers through a 40-hour crisis-intervention program, and some have taken a shorter, 24-hour version. The department, along with the Washington County Sheriff's office, follows the Memphis model first used in Memphis, Tenn., following a questionable shooting.
Officers receive some in-house training in crisis intervention and working with the mentally ill, according to Orr.
'State law authorizes us to use deadly force if the officer or someone else is in imminent physical danger,' Orr said. 'In the case of Luke Glenn, they felt the use of force was justified. Actually, the policy most agencies use is more restrained than state law. In this case, Luke Glenn was not just talking about committing suicide. He said he was going to kill other family members. His mom said she couldn't close the front door because he had broken it down.
'You can reason with people to a certain point, but in a case of excited delirium you're not going to get through even though you try to de-escalate the situation. The behavior they saw dictated what they had to do. He had a knife and he was threatening to kill.'
According to Orr, Glenn dictated the outcome of the situation.
'If he had dropped the knife, he could have yelled and screamed, and we could have stayed there all night,' Orr said.
All Tigard officers have Tasers while on duty, and less-lethal shotguns and beanbags are available to those on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
'We had actually placed an order for more beanbags before this happened,' Orr said.
Pastore was given a few days off and returned to duty last Friday.
At the Washington County Sheriff's office, all deputies take a four-hour crisis-intervention class as part of their training, according to Dave Thompson, the public information officer.
Taking the 40-hour or 24-hour program is voluntary, and a number of deputies have taken the training.
However, the two deputies sent to the Glenn home Sept. 16, Mikhail Gerba, 27, and Timothy Mateski, 26, had not taken the additional training.
They remain on administrative leave while an ongoing investigation by the Major Crimes Team unfolds, according to Thompson.
'We never really want to put a time limit on investigations,' Thompson said. 'Hopefully, it will be wrapped up pretty soon.'
Once the investigation is complete, it will be forwarded to the Washington County district attorney, who will determine if the case should go to a grand jury or be dismissed.
'We will release the investigation report once the legal proceedings are over,' Thompson said.
THS dealing with death
At Tigard High School, Principal Pam Henslee said that school officials are still dealing with Glenn's death and its effect on the staff and students.
'As soon as I found out, I called a staff meeting to explain what happened and what support services were available,' Henslee said. 'We gave the teachers a message to relay to students and brought in an extra counselor to be available to both staff and students. We also brought in a couple substitute teachers, especially in the PE department.
'I checked in on teachers last week, especially those who had had Luke in their class. And people have been adding messages about Luke to our school message board. I contacted the family and offered the use of the (Deb Fennell) auditorium and cafeteria for a memorial service.'
Two staff members delivered a food basket to the family as well.
'Everyone feels profoundly sad,' Henslee said. 'People feel sympathy towards the family and those who knew him.'
A memorial service for Lukus Glenn will be held Saturday at noon at the Deb Fennell Auditorium at Tigard High School.