B.C. man who shot cop twice is not guilty of attempted murder | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. man who shot cop twice is not guilty of attempted murder

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October 20, 2020 - 7:30 PM

A Lower Mainland man who shot a police officer at close range on a Skytrain platform has been found not guilty of attempted murder and instead convicted for the lesser offence of aggravated assault.

In the Oct. 15 judgement, B.C. Provincial Court Judge Peder Gulbransen said the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Daon Gordon Glasgow intended to kill Constable Josh Harms even though he pulled out a handgun and shot the officer twice at a range of about 10 to 15 feet.

The shooting occurred late afternoon Jan. 30, 2019, after two Metro Vancouver Transit Police noticed a man at a Surrey Skytrain station trying to avoid them. The two officers followed Glasgow and found him sat with other commuters waiting for a train. On approaching him, Glasgow pulled out a handgun and fired three shots, two of which hit Const. Harms in the hand and the arm. Glasgow then fled the scene and randomly fired more shots. Although he'd been shot, Const. Harms fired several times at Glasgow. The 37-year-old got away but was arrested five days later. He was charged with attempted murder and several other offences.

According to the decision, Glasgow does not deny that he shot the officer but testified that he did not intend to kill the officer and only wanted to avoid the police.

With no disputes as to the events on the day, Judge Gulbransen says in the decision that the case comes down to the "reasonable conclusion" from the Crown that Glasgow intended to kill the officer, or whether Glasgow's testimony raises a reasonable doubt that he did not intend to kill the policeman.

"The essence of any charge of attempting to commit a crime is that the accused must have the intention to commit that very crime," Gulbransen said in the decision. "A person may be convicted of murder who either intends to kill another person or ... means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death."

However, the Judge continued, "but, an accused may only be convicted of attempted murder if it is proven that he intended to cause the death of the other person."

It's a notoriously difficult charge to prove.

According to the decision, Glasgow was on parole after being sentenced to eight-and-a-half-years for manslaughter and was supposed to be living in a halfway house but was instead staying with his girlfriend. He knew if he was approached by police they would find out he was not living at the half-way house and he would go back to prison. In the minutes prior to the shooting, Glasgow made several attempts to hide from the officers, and at one point took off his hoodie hoping they would not recognize him.

Judge Gulbransen says that while Glasgow has a lengthy criminal record, and does not necessarily believe his explanation that he was carrying a handgun to protect himself, he still found him to be a credible witness.

"One might ask, what does he have to lose by taking the witness stand and denying that he intended to cause the officer’s death?" Gulbransen said. "But, that misses the real question, which is: what is there in his testimony that should cause me not to believe it?"

The Judge said Glasgow took the gun out in a panic and shot at the officer, with the events occurring within a second or two.

"The act of shooting the officer is not inconsistent with Glasgow intending to kill the officer. It is, however, also not inconsistent with Glasgow taking the gun out in a panic, and shooting recklessly at the officer without caring what happened to him," Gulbransen said.

Ultimately, Judge Gulbransen concluded Glasgow's panicked state of mind meant that "the crucial time in which the intent to kill" lasted only one or two seconds and therefore it could not be proved Glasgow had attempted to kill the officer.

"The shots never struck the officer in a vital part of his body. There was no background of animosity between the officers and Glasgow," the judge said.

Judge Gulbransen found Glasgow not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of aggravated assault. He was also convicted for discharging a restricted firearm with the intention of endangering the life of Const. Harms, intentionally discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of others, and possessing a loaded restricted firearm without being the holder of a license to possess that firearm.

Glasgow will be sentenced at a later date.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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