Attorney demands inquest into Glenn shooting
- Barbara Sherman
- The Times - News
Michael Cox says DA's report based on inaccurate information
Lukus Glenn, the 18-year-old Tigard High School graduate who was fatally shot by Washington County sheriff's deputies Sept. 16, did not have to die, according to attorneys for the family.
Attorneys Lawrence Peterson and Michael Cox told a room full of reporters gathered for a press conference Thursday morning that the Washington County district attorney's conclusion that the shooting was 'legally justified' is wrong.
They are calling for a public inquest to explain incongruities between the tape recording of the incident and the officers' statements about what happened, which were used by Washington County Chief Deputy Robert Bletko to reach his decision.
Peterson said that the 911 tape recording of the incident does not contain the gaps that sheriff's deputy Mikhail Gerba, 27, referred to in his testimony.
He also speculated that the force of the beanbag rounds fired at Lukus by Tigard police officer Andrew Pastore, 29, forced him backward and toward the house where his parents and grandmother were waiting.
'The police used that as justification to shoot him,' Peterson.
Hope Glenn said that the family is pursuing a public inquest because 'I don't think this should happen to anyone else. It didn't have to happen that way.'
When asked if Luke had threatened the other family members, Hope replied, 'No.'
She added, 'We called (911) for help for him, not for ourselves. We were calling for him.
'He was really intoxicated and talking crazy. I told the 911 operator that he was talking crazy 'but don't shoot him.''
Brad Glenn agreed, saying, 'He was only a threat to himself. He wasn't a threat to anyone else.'
The couple said that Lukus had never harmed them or threatened to harm them.
'No, never,' Brad said.
Hope added, 'We've never had to call the police on him. He's a good kid.'
The incident began around 3 a.m. Sept. 16, when Hope Glenn called 911 after a drunken Lukus grabbed a knife and became violent and suicidal despite efforts by family and friends to subdue him.
Soon after, Pastore and Gerba arrived along with sheriff's deputy Timothy Mateski, 26.
When Lukus failed to comply with their commands to drop the knife he was holding, Pastore fired beanbags and according to the attorneys' interpretation of the tape, the deputies started firing the fatal shots as Pastore shot his sixth and last round.
The deputies fired 11 shots, and the shots fired by all three officers took place in a 10-second period, Peterson said.
And contrary to Pastore's statement that he started to reload his beanbag gun, Peterson and Cox maintain that there wasn't time before the deputies finished firing their guns.
A public inquest into the incident 'would be transparent and open to the public,' Cox said Wednesday.
'The response to the whole thing has been inadequate from the beginning when the call was made to the end,' he added. 'The DA took inaccurate statements and put them in the report.'
Cox questions why other non-lethal tactics were not used against Lukus, who was standing in front of his family home in Metzger.
As for the possibility of filing a civil suit, both Peterson and Cox said it was premature to consider taking that route.
'We're a long way from reaching that decision,' Cox said. 'Now we need a public inquest to find out exactly what happened and to restore people's faith in the 911 system.'
Peterson echoed Cox's comments Thursday morning.
'We are training officers to use firearms as a first resort and not as a last resort,' he said. 'There are alternatives that should be pursued. I don't think this is the first time police have been called to a family event with an out-of-control drunken teenager.'
Peterson added that as a parent of a teenager, he would be reluctant to call 911 and that many people have expressed the same sentiments to him since the Glenn shooting.