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Surrey SkyTrain station shooting suspect was released from prison on reduced sentence

Judge in Glasgow’s shooting case was ‘particularly impressed’ victim’s parents urged Glasgow to become a ‘better person’
Surrey RCMP released a surveillance photo of the suspect following Wednesday’s (Jan. 30) shooting at Scott Road SkyTrain station. (Police photo)

The convicted killer accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms at the Scott Road SkyTrain Station got a break from the Court of Appeal in April 2015 when his nine-year sentence for the 2010 shooting death of a man at a Surrey McDonald’s restaurant was reduced.

Daon Gordon Glasgow is the prime suspect in last Wednesday’s shooting, in which the constable was hit twice in the arm. Police are not saying much about what led to it, but Glasgow was wanted on an alleged parole violation at the time the trigger was pulled.

“I have no information from investigators as to what was going on during the time of the shooting, or leading up to the shooting,” Surrey RCMP Sergeant Chad Grieg told the Now-Leader Friday, when asked if Harms had been trying to arrest Gordon for the alleged breach of parole.

“The unlawfully at large warrant is in respect to violating parole,” Grieg said. “The warrant for unlawfully at large was issued prior to this occurrence, and it is not linked, I guess you can say, to this investigation.”

Glasgow was arrested at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, at a house in the 7500-block of Boundary Road in Burnaby, ending a three-day manhunt. He is being held in custody but at press time no charge had been laid against him for the SkyTrain shooting.

In a written statement released Monday Harms said he thanks God his injuries were not worse.

The 27-year-old cop, who has been described as a “high flier” and an “excellent cop who digs” and “gets valid arrests,” was twice shot in the arm at Surrey Scott Road SkyTrain Station while in the line of duty, on January 30.

He was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital on Wednesday and released later that night. The next day, he was at the Metro Vancouver Transit Police headquarters.

“I have so many reasons to be grateful, and so many people to thank,” Harms said Monday.

“I thank God my injuries were not worse. Though I have a long road ahead, I am going to make a full recovery and rejoin my colleagues as soon as possible.”

He is expected to undergo surgery this week.

Harms also expressed gratitude to his fellow police and others.

“I have received support from many, and am thankful for everyone who has expressed well-wishes. In particular, I thank the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, Surrey and Burnaby RCMP, Lower Mainland ERT, the staff at B.C. Ambulance Service and Royal Columbian Hospital,” Harms said. “I would also like to thank the many members of the public who expressed their support.

“Finally,” he said, “I would like to express my gratitude to my wife and family.”

In April 2011 Glasgow, who had originally been charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter for shooting Terry Blake Scott in the chest inside the men’s washroom of the McDonald’s restaurant at 11011 Scott Road, during dinner hour when families were present.

READ ALSO: Surrey RCMP now say they can’t confirm if wounded transit cop shot at suspect

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READ ALSO: Transit Police have been in deadly Surrey situations before

Scott’s mom and dad told Justice Geoffrey Gaul, during the 2011 sentencing hearing at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, that the loss of their son was “devastatingly painful.”

“However, to their enormous credit they appear to be a forgiving family and one that will not allow bitterness or hatred to enter into their lives on account of the tragic loss of their son,” Gaul noted. “I was particularly impressed by the portion of the victim impact statement where Mr. and Mrs. Scott urge and encourage Mr. Glasgow to become a better person.”

Witness interviews and video surveillance footage revealed that after the single gunshot rang out Scott emerged from the washroom clutching at his chest, and collapsed on the restaurant floor while Glasgow ran towards a nearby Subway restaurant, past some railway tracks and into an industrial area where he disappeared from sight.

“Based on police and forensic investigation including cell phone text analysis and security video at McDonald’s Glasgow was identified as the suspect,” Gaul noted.

Security surveillance video footage once again come back to haunt Glasgow in this Scott Road SkyTrain Station shooting, nearly nine years later, as on the night of the shooting police released to the public images of him from a transit security camera at the station as they hunted for him.

“Video surveillance is quite helpful in police investigations and that’s why we have our officers out there conducting neighbourhood inquiries, looking for video surveillance in the area that this occurred, as well as we’re lucky to have the video surveillance from TransLink that was provided to us,” Grieg said prior to Glasgow’s capture.

“We have released the video Canada-wide, it’s on the RCMP website, we did release it to the media and as far as we know the media has been up in other parts of the country, yes.”

READ ALSO: Suspect in transit cop shooting was jailed in 2011 for killing man at Surrey McDonald’s

Meantime, the court in 2011 heard Scott was shot over five ounces of hashish worth about $1,000, and Glasgow dropped some of the drug during his escape.

“The firearm was never recovered but the bullet removed from the deceased was consistent with being fired from a .38 special or .357 magnum handgun,” the judge noted. “The deceased died from a gunshot that entered his chest travelled through a valve in his heart, travelled down the body grazing a kidney, through the liver and coming to rest just under the surface of the skin on Scott’s back.”

The Crown and defence jointly called for a prison sentence of 10 years, with the range generally being seven to 13.

The judge found Glasgow “not beyond rehabilitation.”

“He has also expressed a genuine remorse for the pain and loss he has caused to the Scott family.”

Gaul said Glasgow should be sentenced to 10 years in prison but deducted a year because he had been in custody since his arrest in April 2010.

He also prohibited Glasgow from possessing any firearm or ammunition for life.

On April 14, 2015 the appeal court in Vancouver reduced Glasgow’s sentence to eight years and six months with a pre-sentence custody credit of one year and six months, after he applied for the adjustment.

Appeal Court Justice Edward Chiasson noted that Gaul had given Glasgow one-for-one credit for time served. Glasgow’s lawyer appealed this, based on a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, seeking a credit of 1.5 years for one year pre-sentence custody served.

“The Crown does not oppose the time being extended or enhanced credit being given,” Chiasson noted. “It agrees the appellant is not disqualified from receiving such credit for any statutory reason.”

Appeal Court Justices David Tysoe and Richard Goepel concurred.

The Now-Leader has learned that at the time of the SkyTrain shooting, Glasgow had been on statutory release from prison, with conditions.

Statutory release, which occurs two-thirds into an offender’s sentence, is legislated and not based on a parole board decision. The idea is to ease an offender into society, under suspervision, instead of putting he or she back on the street the day their sentence expires, with no supervision.

At this time of writing, we’ll reiterate, Glasgow had not been formally charged in connection with the SkyTrain shooting.

That said, there are numerous times Surrey residents have over the past decades been victimized by violent offenders who, after doing their time or while out on parole, injure or kill again.

The rouge’s gallery below covers some of the more high-profile re-offenders in this city, but is by no means a complete catalogue of the recidivist evil that has been unleashed on our streets.

In September 2017, Raymond Lee Caissie, a 46-year-old, a high-risk repeat offender who’d been released into the community, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of Surrey teenager Serena Vermeersch. A Surrey Search and Rescue team had found the 17-year-old girl’s body on Sept. 16, 2014, near railway tracks in the 14600-block of 66th Avenue in Sullivan. She’d been reported missing the day before, by her mom.

Caissie, whom B.C. Supreme Court Gregory Bowden described as a violent, merciless man without a conscience, was sentenced in October 2017 to life in prison with no eligibility to apply for parole for 17 years.

Prior to that, Caissie had spent most of his life behind bars for sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, robbery, theft and other crimes. “He has been unmanageable in the community since a very young age,” Bowden noted during the sentencing hearing in New Westminister. “Since becoming an adult, he has spent only one year and three months out of custody and in the community with the dire consequences that I have described.”

Surrey residents did have the benefit of a warning, for what it was worth, about Caissie in the form of a public notification bulletin from the Corrections Branch, on June 14, 2013, that the “high-risk sexual and violent offender” was “currently on bail supervision” and living in Surrey.

Dianne Watts, Surrey’s mayor at the time, predicted Caissie would reoffend and expressed outrage that he’d been released into her community. And then, as time wore on, the public forgot about him, until he was arrest for the teen’s murder.

Caissie choked Vermeersch until she was unconscious after riding on the same bus with her. When she exited the bus, he got off too and followed her for four blocks. She then turned down a dark path she used as a short cut home, and he followed her in.

“His background is abysmal,” Crown prosecutor Colleen Stewart said of Cassie. “He has repeatedly terrorized women.”

Caissie’s crime resulted in a public “Take Back Surrey – Rally 4 Change” rally in Newton.

In 2015, Yosef Jomo Gopaul was sentenced to 12 years in prison –minus 18 months time served – after pleading guilty to manslaughter and robbery in the 2013 killing of Surrey hockey mom Julie Paskall, 53. He had originally been charged with second-degree murder but pleaded down to the lesser charges.

Eight weeks prior to his attack on Paskall, Gopaul had come to Surrey from Ontario, where he was considered a high risk to reoffend after attacking a woman on New Year’s Day, 2010.

Crown prosecutor Wendy Stephen noted that by age 28, Gopaul already had 29 criminal convictions and six were crimes of violence, including assault with a weapon and aggravated assault.

Pamela Cameron, age 16, was also killed by a recidivist, a few minutes after leaving Muffin Break at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, where she did her homework.

This was on Oct. 8, 1994.

Her murderer, Mitchell James Owen, had been granted parole from Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario, where he had been serving 10 years for rape and armed robbery. The Grade 10 Semiahmoo Secondary student’s naked body was discovered by Surrey RCMP dogs in a tangled forest near 20th Avenue, about 20 paces from 152nd Avenue.

Cameron’s body was buried under a thick mat of rain-sodden leaves and her clothing was found about a block away, near a Dairy Queen. Owen not only robbed the teenage girl of her life and her family of their beloved daughter and sister, but also destroyed the tranquility of two Canadian communities nearly 5,000 kilometres apart, as Cameron’s family had moved to South Surrey from Milton, Ont., about two months prior to her untimely death.

An autopsy revealed Cameron died of suffocation. Police refused to say if she’d been raped or strangled during the daylight attack, off the busy street.The public outcry was incredible. Political speeches were made and anti-crime rallies were staged. One rally drew more than 3,000 people to the site where the teenager’s body was found.

The murder also resulted in one of the most intense manhunts B.C. has seen, until Owen turned himself in to police. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for at least 25 years.

Just three months after Cameron’s murder, convicted sex offender Fernand Edmond Auger – who had been on mandatory release from Bowden penitentiary near Calgary after serving two-thirds of a two-year sentence for robbery – is believed to have abducted Melanie Carpenter, 23, from the tanning salon where she worked in Fleetwood.

This was on Jan. 6, 1995.

Rallies and candlelight vigils were held, and speeches were made. Because Carpenter had been abducted during daylight hours, a grassroots “Take Back the Day” campaign was launched. Several weeks later, a hiker found her body, concealed by a white blanket, in a crevice near an isolated road, four kilometres north of Yale.

She’d been sexually assaulted and died of multiple stab wounds. Auger had been released from prison four months prior to Carpenter’s murder. It may never be known if he was her murderer, because he killed himself 14 days before her body was found.

Auger was found dead in a rental car near High River, Alberta, having inhaled gas fumes. His suicide note left no indication of Carpenter’s whereabouts

“If this guy was kept in jail, my daughter would still be here,” Steve Carpenter seethed.

More speeches were made, petitions were signed and rallies were held in protest against Canada’s parole system.

Auger had been released from custody despite a prison psychologist’s report indicating he was a high risk to reoffend.

Again, rallies were held.

A “March for Justice,” at Bear Creek Park, drew roughly 2,500 people.

— With a file from Amy Reid.

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The many faces of Surrey SkyTrain shooting suspect Daon Gordon Glasgow. Surrey RCMP said at the time of the shooting, Glasgow was described as dark skinned with a black stubble mustache, however, police added Glasgow is “known to quickly alter his appearance.” (Submitted photos: Surrey RCMP)

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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