CMPD Releases 911 Call From Man Officers Killed: 'He's Armed. He Sounds Delusional.'

Sep 15, 2017

Updated: 1:16 p.m. 9/15/2017

Credit Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

CMPD has released nearly an hour of audio recorded Wednesday, September 6.

This includes police radio traffic and a call to 911 made by a man police would shoot and kill that night at an apartment building in northeast Charlotte.

Before releasing these recordings, police altered the voices in them and edited out any personal information as required by state law.

What remains does give some context into what was, clearly, a confusing situation for police. Many questions about the incident remain.

It all started when 29-year-old Rueben Galindo made a call to 911.

911 Operator: Do you need police, fire or medic?
Galindo: Somebody who speaks Spanish.
911 Operator: OK, one second for Spanish. Please don't hang up.

A Spanish interpreter is conferenced in on the call. Working through the interpreter, the 911 operator then tries to some get basic information. Galindo says he needs the police.

911 Operator: And what address do you need the police to?
Galindo (through interpreter): No, I only want to know if they can help me or not.
911 Operator: OK, with what though? You've got to tell me something.
Galindo (through interpreter): OK, um, the police know what I have.

Galindo was facing a misdemeanor assault charge after pointing a gun at someone on April 12.

The 911 operator again tries to get his location. Galindo refuses to give it. But he then tells the operator why he needs the police to come.

Galindo (through interpreter): Because I have a gun in my hand.
911 Operator: OK, what is he going to do with the gun?
Galindo (through interpreter): Are you going to help me or are you not going to help me?

The operator then asks if Galindo is suicidal or homicidal adding, "What's wrong with him?"

The interpreter receives no clear answer.

911 Operator: OK, so is he refusing to give us information?

Interpreter: Yes, ma'am.

All the while, others can be heard near Galindo.

Galindo says he wants to turn himself in, and that he has been drinking.

911 Operator: He has been drinking, no drugs?
Galindo (through interpreter): And a lot of drugs also, a while ago, to call you.

Galindo then says he's only been drinking beer.

And it's clear he's growing impatient.

He asks multiple times if the police are coming or not. Even telling the operator to send a specific CMPD officer, or any other officer, to pick him up.

Galindo (through interpreter): Because they're after me. They're following me.
911 Operator: Who's after him?
Galindo (through interpreter): Are they coming or not?

Officers were in fact just moments away. Here's the dispatch call

CMPD Dispatch: He says he's armed with a gun and wants officers to help him. He refuses to give interpreter futher information. Unknown what he wants to do with the gun. Unknown if he's suicidal. He's not really cooperating

The dispatcher then warns officers that Galindo sounds delusional.

At the time Galindo was still talking with 911. Dispatch then relayed some new and important information Galindo had just shared.   

CMPD DISPATCH: He says he still has the gun on him. He's saying he doesn’t have any bullets in it but he still has the gun on him and he doesn’t want to set it down anywhere else.

Friday, CMPD confirmed the gun didn’t have any bullets in it when it was recovered. 

A second 911 call captured the moment when the CMPD officers arrive. Galindo greets them.

GALINDO: How you doing man?

An officer shouts something in the background. Three seconds later a series of thumps. Then this from the 911 operator.

911 OPERATOR: I have shots fired.

The recording is then filled with the sound of screams and crying.

Rueben Galindo's family insists he was just trying to turn the gun over to police. That his killing was unjustified.

CMPD insists Galindo was not only armed, but posed a threat to the responding officers. Their actions, they insist were justified. They have not said whether the gun was loaded.

The officers were equipped with body worn cameras that night. CMPD can't release the footage on its own. But they says they will petition a court to release that footage as well.