Mom: 9-1-1 call was to help sonGarden Home - The Glenn family says deputies who shot and killed an 18-year-old also endangered his grandmother
Sep. 20, 2006
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Hope Glenn was frustrated because she, her husband and her son's friends couldn't seem to calm her drunken, agitated 18-year-old son early Saturday. So she called 9-1-1 at 3:05 a.m. for help.
She told a dispatcher her teenage son, Lukus, was suicidal, standing outside their house in the Garden Home area of unincorporated Washington County with a knife to his throat.
"When I called 9-1-1, I called to save my son, to get some professional help," she said in an interview Sunday. "Maybe I'm naive."
Minutes after Washington County sheriff's deputies and a Tigard police officer arrived and Glenn's son, Lukus, refused to drop his knife, officers fired bean-bag rounds at him. When Glenn turned toward the house, two deputies fired several gunshots. Relatives said the teenager collapsed by a doorstep. He died at the scene.
The sheriff's office did not say how many times or where Glenn was shot, but said the deputies fired because they were concerned he might harm family inside.
The teenager's parents and relatives Sunday said in interviews the deputies' gunfire ripped through the house and into the teenager's 72-year-old grandmother's room, barely missing her.
"I could have lost my son and my mom," Hope Glenn said. She pointed out two bullet holes in the front door and two inside the grandmother's room as she numbly recounted Saturday's events.
Lukus Glenn graduated this year from Tigard High School, where he excelled as a kicker on the football team. He had gone to dinner with a girlfriend Friday night and to a Wilson High School football game, his mother said. Later, he went to a party. A friend dropped him off at home about 2 a.m. Saturday because Glenn told his friends he was too drunk to drive.
His parents had been sleeping, but Hope Glenn heard him come in. She went downstairs to check on him and could tell he was drunk. She asked where his car was. He told her he "wasn't that stupid," she recalled.
The teenager had been down on his luck in recent months, disappointed about a long-term romantic relationship that had gone sour and unsure about his future as he saw fellow Tigard graduates heading to college. He had been working half-days at a Oregon Liquor Control Commission warehouse loading pallets but quit, his mother said. He hoped to start at Portland State University in the winter -- a former Tigard High coach led its football team.
Without his car, Lukus Glenn tried to get into a shed to his off-road motorcycle, despite his mom's protestations that he shouldn't be driving any vehicle. She woke her husband, Brad Glenn, and they went outside. She described their son as distraught. His dad told him to go to bed or start walking, Hope Glenn said.
Lukus Glenn walked off for a while but came back, kicking the front door, his family said. His parents opened it and the teenager went inside and grabbed a wood-carving knife, his mother said.
"I told him, 'Luke, stop, calm down.' He said, 'No, I'm leaving.' "
So his mother called her son's friend, Tony Morales. "Luke's on the street with a knife. You need to find him," she told him. "He might kill himself."
Morales, 22, said he found Glenn sitting in the yard next to the Glenn home. Morales stayed with him about 20 minutes.
"He was just sitting there, kind of depressed," Morales said. "I've never seen him like that. It was weird, because earlier in the night he was in a good mood, talking about getting a job with his uncle and getting a house together with us."
At one point, Glenn jumped over his neighbor's fence and ran back into his parents' driveway. "That's when he started yelling he wanted his keys," Morales said. "He yelled, 'Who has my keys?' "
By then, another friend had driven Lukus' car to the Glenns' house. His parents heard windows smashing. Their son punched out a back window of one of their cars, then grabbed a shovel and knocked out a window on another.
Glenn dropped the shovel, Morales said, and pulled out a knife. "Me and his dad tried to jump toward him and stop him," Morales said, but Glenn moved away and threatened to hurt himself.
"He was not trying to hurt us," Morales said. "I told him, 'I'll back away, but please put the knife down.' "
When Hope Glenn saw her son put a knife to his throat and refuse to move it, she called 9-1-1. "I said, 'Don't shoot him, he's suicidal.' "
Morales said he saw three officers run into the front yard, guns drawn. They told Morales to drop to the ground and told Brad Glenn to go inside. Glenn's grandmother was at her door and they screamed at her to get inside, Hope Glenn and Morales said.
Morales said the officers yelled at Lukus Glenn to drop the knife. Glenn had the knife in his right hand and kept telling the officers to "stop screaming, stop yelling," Morales said.
Hope Glenn watched from her windows and said she pleaded on the phone with an emergency dispatcher, "Don't let them shoot him. He's my only son."
Another officer fired several bean-bag rounds, which didn't knock Lukus Glenn down.
"He just kind of looked at them," Morales said.
Glenn grabbed both sides of his baggy pants and turned toward the house, gasping, his mother said.
Then four to five gunshots followed.
"I remember seeing him falling as I was screaming his name," Morales said.
The Glenns watched their son fall on the front step outside his grandmother's room. Hope Glenn was screaming and had to be treated later for chest pains.
The two deputies are on routine leave while the case is investigated. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Bob Day said all deputies are trained in crisis intervention techniques. After Lukus Glenn refused to drop the knife, the deputies felt they had no choice but to shoot him before he went inside his home, a prepared sheriff's statement said.
The family, still reeling from his death, isn't convinced.
Sunday afternoon, wearing a Tigard football sweatshirt, Hope Glenn said, "I wish I just wouldn't have called."
A friend by her side quickly told her she shouldn't think like that.
"The police just agitated him," Glenn continued.
Now Glenn is in a daze about what she must do next, what preparations she needs to make for a funeral. An autopsy, she said, was to be done Sunday.
"We don't even know how to start," she said.