DA clears police officers in fatal shooting of killer (2024)

SAN DIEGO: Three police officers who fatally shot a Metropolitan Transit System mechanic after he gunned down two of his fellow employees were justified in using deadly force, the district attorney has ruled.

Officers Kelly Copeland, Jared Wilson and Kelly Besker confronted Lonnie Glasco, 47, about 2:15 a.m. March 24 at the MTS maintenance facility on Imperial Avenue and 16th Street.

Glasco had just finished his shift and, after announcing that no one would be allowed to leave, he took out a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber Magnum revolver and fatally shot Benjamin Mwangi, 37, who died at the scene, and Michael Stevenson, 55, who later died at a hospital.

When officers arrived they found Glasco in the parking lot with his gun in one hand and a cell phone in the other.

After officers repeatedly ordered him to drop his weapon and surrender, Glasco raised his gun and pointed it at the officers and all three opened fire.

He died of multiple gunshot wounds to the arms, chest, abdomen, hand and thigh.

In a letter dated Nov. 19 and released yesterday, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said that, under the circ*mstances, the officers acted in defense of themselves and one another and bear no criminal liability for their actions.

At the time of the shooting, Besker has been with the force for 14 years, Copeland for two years and Wilson for one.

Debbi Baker

District urging state to rethink ed funding

SAN DIEGO: Rather than cut $200 million from its $1.2 billion operating budget to offset massive funding reductions that are anticipated from the state, the San Diego school board wants the Legislature to rethink how it funds education.

Otherwise, trustees might just take drastic measures of their own.

The San Diego school board passed a resolution last night that calls on the state to avoid making “draconian cuts … that will decimate the quality of education for all students.” Proposed by trustee Richard Barrera, the resolution goes on to state that the cuts could be avoided, “if the governor and state legislators make decisions to reform tax benefits for corporations or consider other new revenue options … .”

Among the cuts suggested by the San Diego Unified School District next year are: raising class size in every grade level; eliminating high school athletics, music and art programs; and cutting transportation to magnet schools.

“Even if we do all that, we still would not cut $200 million from our budget,” Barrera said. “We can’t cut $200 million from our budget and preserve our school system.”

Trustees threatened to cut the school year rather than gut programs.

“If you (the state) are going to fund us for six months, don’t expect us to provide nine months of education,” Barrera said.

Maureen Magee

Two county swine flu deaths bring total to 47

Two more people infected with swine flu have died in San Diego County, bringing the number of local deaths to 47, county health officials said yesterday.

The most recent cases were a man, 57, with no underlying medical conditions and a woman, 65, with underlying medical conditions. Officials said both tested positive for the H1N1 virus, although the exact cause of death has not been determined.

Of the 47 people who have died, 40 were county residents and seven were visitors. San Diego County has had 673 people hospitalized because of swine flu to date, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

County health clinics have received 7,000 doses of the injectable H1N1 vaccine and 3,500 doses of nasal mist H1N1 vaccine. The vaccine is being distributed at seven sites on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to children, adults with chronic medical conditions, people who care for infants and health-care workers.

An additional 23,000 doses will be distributed at school-based clinics, officials said.

For more information, go to sdcounty.ca.gov or call 211.

Karen Kucher

Giant snake identified now as boa constrictor

CARLSBAD: About that snake that two hikers found along Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad on Sunday: It’s a boa constrictor, not a Burmese python, as animal control officials had originally reported.

The snake, measuring about 5 feet long, is specifically a Colombian red-tailed boa constrictor, said Dan DeSousa, a lieutenant with the county animal services department. Experts with the department re-examined the snake yesterday and concluded that it’s a boa, DeSousa said.

The difference may not matter much to hikers along the north end of Batiquitos Lagoon, who clearly don’t expect to see giant snakes along the quiet trail below a suburban neighborhood and the Four Seasons Resort Aviara.

Officials with the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation said they suspect a pet owner no longer wanted the snake and set it free. That’s a huge mistake, they said — for native birds and other animals that live at the lagoon, for human visitors and for the snake.

The boa constrictor is a heavy-bodied species found in Central America, South America and on some islands of the Caribbean. They can grow to about 13 feet long, and weigh up to about 60 pounds. Red-tailed boas tend to be “well-mannered” and “are relatively easy to care for as adults compared to the larger Burmese pythons,” said Jenny Greene, an assistant manager at LLL Reptile and Supply Co. in Escondido.

Animal control officers are working to find the boa a new home.

Bruce Lieberman

DA clears police officers in fatal shooting of killer (2024)


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