B.C. man who shot transit police officer convicted of 4 charges but acquitted of attempted murder

·3 min read

The man who shot a transit police officer twice at a Surrey SkyTrain station last year has been found not guilty of attempted murder.

But a provincial court judge has convicted 37-year-old Daon Gordon Glasgow of the lesser included charge of aggravated assault, along with three other charges, in the Jan. 30, 2019 shooting of Const. Josh Harms — firing a gun with the intention of endangering the officer's life, reckless discharge of a firearm and possessing a gun without a licence.

In an Oct. 15 judgment, Judge Peder Gulbransen wrote that the Crown's case for attempted murder was based on circumstantial evidence, which made it particularly tricky to prove that Glasgow intended to kill Harms.

"The crucial time in which the intent to kill, as alleged by the Crown, would have to arise within one or perhaps two seconds. The shots never struck the officer in a vital part of his body. There was no background of animosity between the officers and Glasgow," Gulbransen wrote.

He said that the case against Glasgow was missing crucial context that is usually present in successful attempted murder cases — things like revenge between rival gangs or jealousy over a former lover.

"There is often evidence of an accused making angry or threatening statements before committing a violent act, which amounts to attempted murder," Gulbransen said.

The judgment has raised some eyebrows with Metro Vancouver Transit Police. On Monday, media relations officer Sgt. Clint Hampton tweeted that "It's hard to imagine how someone can point a gun at any person, fire the gun hitting the officer twice and not be found guilty of attempted murder."

Glasgow fled from plainclothes officers

Harms and his partner, Const. Chris Elvidge, were in plainclothes when they encountered Glasgow in the parking lot of the Scott Road station on the day of the shooting.

According to the judgment, Glasgow was unlawfully at large from his halfway house and carrying a restricted firearm at the time. When he spotted the officers, he ran into the station, forced his way through the gates without paying, removed a blue hoodie he had been wearing and sat on a seat on the platform to wait for a train, according to the judgment.

Before he bolted, neither officer had seen Glasgow do anything illegal and they didn't know who he was.

"Nonetheless, it seemed obvious that he wanted to avoid them because they were police officers. They followed him to find out why he was so desperate to avoid them," Gulbransen wrote.

Curtis Kreklau
Curtis Kreklau

The officers tracked Glasgow to the platform, and when Harms spotted Glasgow, he walked toward him with one arm out, saying something like "hey police."

"Harms saw the accused quickly stand up, take a handgun from his waist area and shoot him. The officer said that Glasgow was pointing the gun at his centre of mass," the judge wrote.

Two bullets hit Harms — one in the right arm the other in his left hand.

Glasgow testified that he panicked when he saw the officer and was on "automatic pilot" when he fired his weapon, according to the judgment. He then fled the scene, firing a couple rounds behind him to scare off anyone who might be in pursuit.

"Although Glasgow pointed the handgun at Constable Harms as he fled towards the escalator, he did not fire any more shots at the officer. That is, he had an opportunity to kill him, if that was his intention, but he did not use that opportunity," Gulbransen wrote.

Investigators were able to identify Glasgow from surveillance footage, and he was arrested five days later. Harms required surgery to remove the bullet from his right arm, but was eventually able to return to work.

Glasgow's next appearance in court is scheduled for Dec. 15 to fix a date for sentencing.