Officers Justified in Shooting MTS Suspect

Suspect told co-workers 'No one's leaving here'

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An MTS repairman walked into an East Village bus yard before the end of his shift, telling co-workers "no one's leaving here," then opened fire, killing one coworker and injuring another.

    An investigation into the deadly shooting in a downtown bus yard reveal what happened moments before San Diego police shot and killed the suspected gunman.

    Just after 2 a.m. on March 24, Lonnie Glasco, 47, entered the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System bus yard near 100 16th Street and threatened his co-workers with a gun, telling them 'No one's leaving here' according to police.

    Glasco, an MTS repairman, opened fire killing one co-worker and injuring another before being shot and killed by officers.

    The officers involved in the shooting, Officers Kelly Copeland, Jared Wilson and Kelly Besker were cleared of wrongdoing in a report released by San Diego police Tuesday.

    Immediately after the shooting, officers said Glasco walked outside into the bus yard and shot and critically injured one person. Witnesses reportedly heard the gunfire and tried to run; that's when, police said, the suspect shot and killed a second victim, 37-year old Benjamin Mwangi. MTS officials said both victims were MTS employees. Mwangi was a maintenance foreman, a supervisory position at MTS.

    “Officers responded and confronted the suspect. He still had the gun in his hand,” said SDPD Capt. Jim Collins the morning of the shooting. “They told him to drop the gun. He made a phone call to someone and then raised the gun at the officers. Three officers fired.”

    The District Attorney's report, sent to SDPD Chief William Lansdowne on Nov. 19, corroborated Collins statement using  quotes from the officers involved in the shooting.

    "He was talking on his cell phone when I arrived... I would yell, at least three times for the suspect to drop his gun," Officer Copeland is quoted as saying in the report. " The suspect hung up the cell phone and he kind of put it down at his side... At the moment he started to raise his gun, it got to about mid body, I heard a crack of a gun... I thought that he was shooting... I thought he was firing his gun so I fired two rounds at the suspect."

    "Somebody was giving him repeated orders to drop the gun," Officer Besker said to investigators according to the report. "It was said multiple times, loudly and in a clear voice. He was not complying...It looked like he was assessing where everybody was... He knew where we were..."

    Officer Wilson described hearing another officer yell to the suspect to drop the gun. "I probably heard him yell that ten times," Wilson was quoted in the report. "I yelled myself once for him to drop the gun... He was looking at Officer Nigro originally, then he turned towards me. I saw him raise his gun at me and as soon as he had it up I fired... I fired two rounds... He went down immediately."

    The investigation showed the officers each fired twice. The weapon Glasco used in the shooting was found by his side, according to investigators, loaded with three expended shell casings and three live cartridges.

    Glasco was a 29-year veteran of MTS who worked as a repairman for the system's automated fare boxes.