Confounding Circumstances

Confounding Circumstances
Illustration By Jason Stout

Six months after the fact, the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Jessie Lee Owens by APD Officer Scott Glasgow remain confusing. The Oct. 22 indictment of Glasgow for criminally negligent homicide, along with prior information shared by APD with Owens' family and with the community, suggests a scenario like this:

1) Owens, driving a Dodge Neon reported stolen, pulled over -- or was pulled over by Glasgow -- near the corner of 17th and Tillery. Glasgow parked his car not behind, but beside Owens, close enough to prevent Owens from fully opening his driver's door.

2) Without waiting for backup or turning on his lights, Glasgow got out of his car and approached Owens on foot.

3) According to the indictment, Glasgow attempted to remove Owens from the Neon while they were still separated by the driver's door.

4) The indictment says that Glasgow then reached over the open door, into the driver's seat, in an attempt to handcuff Owens. Prior versions of the story, according to Owens' family, had Glasgow attempting not to handcuff Owens, but to remove the keys from the Neon's ignition.

5) Apparently at this point, Owens allegedly reached down to the floorboard, leading Glasgow to suspect Owens was armed. The indictment charges that Glasgow reached into the car, with his weapon drawn, and attempted to grab Owens to "control" him.

6) Allegedly, Owens drives away with Glasgow still trapped in the door, at which point the officer fires five times at close range. The Neon collides with a parked Ford Expedition (not shown) before running into a fence at the corner of Tillery and 17th. Owens is pronounced dead at the scene.

  • More of the Story

  • 'Something Went Wrong'

    Six months after he was killed by an Austin cop, Jessie Owens' family still wants some basic answers

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