Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Bletko says use of deadly force was justified
WASHINGTON COUNTY - The family of Lukus Glenn is disappointed by the Washington County district attorney's finding that the Sept. 16 fatal shooting of the 18-year-old by Washington County deputies was justified, said the family's attorney Michael Cox.
A letter released Wednesday from Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Bletko read, 'I have concluded that the shooting of Mr. Glenn, while tragic, was legally justified… There is no good reason to believe that the deputies committed a crime and therefore a grand jury review in this case is not warranted.'
Wednesday morning, Cox said he had not yet seen the letter from the district attorney's office. The family planned to issue a statement sometime today, Thursday, Cox said.
The three-page letter with cover sheet was addressed to Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon. The letter included a summary of the events that led up to the fatal shooting of Lukus Glenn outside his parents' home in Metzger.
Deputies responded shortly after 3 a.m. Sept. 16 to the family's residence. Hope Glenn, Lukus's mother, had called 9-1-1 to report her intoxicated son was suicidal and had threatened violence.
Washington County Sheriff's deputies Mikhail Gerba and Tim Mateski responded first to the scene. Tigard police officer Andrew Pastore arrived shortly after with a beanbag shotgun.
After Glenn reportedly failed to comply with commands to drop a knife he was holding, Pastore fired six rounds of beanbags. At least five of the bags struck Glenn.
As Pastore was reloading the beanbag shotgun, the letter notes that Glenn turned and began running toward the entrances of the residence. Gerba and Mateski then fired a total of 11 rounds at Glenn who then 'collapsed within arm's reach of one of the entrances.' Eight bullets struck Glenn.
'It is clear that Mr. Glenn was extremely distraught and angry with his parents on the night of his death,' Bletko's letter read. 'He had smashed out windows to their vehicles using his bare hands as well as a shovel, kicked in the front door to their residence and armed himself with a knife making statements that someone was going to die tonight. He told the deputies on the scene either they would have to kill him or he would kill himself.'
The letter continued with, 'It is one thing for a deputy to hesitate in using deadly physical force endangering his own life. It is quite another for a deputy to hesitate when doing so endangers the life of someone who has called for help. Mr. Glenn's mother told the 9-1-1 operator she was safe as long as her son didn't run into the house.'
Bletko's letter referenced Glenn's autopsy and toxicology results, which showed a .18 blood alcohol level at the time of his death.
'Glenn's intoxication… obviously contributed to his irrational and aggressive behavior,' Bletko noted.
According to the letter, detectives are investigating who provided Glenn with the alcohol the 18-year-old consumed on the night of his death.
A letter released Oct. 5 on behalf of the Glenn family from Lawrence Peterson, another lawyer for the family, called for a public inquest into the shooting of Lukus Glenn.
The letter, which came out one week before the district attorney's decision not to pursue grand jury review, noted that the family did not believe 'a grand jury proceeding alone (would) fully and fairly address the circumstances of Luke's death.'
'The Glenn family has lost confidence in Washington County's ability to perform the full and fair investigation that has been promised to the public,' the family's letter read.
A cover letter from the district attorney's office attached to the review decision read, 'We recognize that the review process of the incident is ongoing, including Washington County Sheriff's office review, possible civil review and review perhaps by public discussion involving those with appropriate expertise.'
The district attorney's office said they are ready to release and make available all investigative reports related to the case.