DA: No charges to be filed in deadly officer-involving shooting


CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who reportedly shot and killed a 29-year-old man in northeast Charlotte on Sept. 6 will not face any charges, the district attorney said Friday.

Rueben Galindo, 29, was fatally shot after calling the police to say he had a gun. Galindo was not speaking English when he called the emergency line, police say.

The incident happened at the Hunters Pointe Apartments along the 1900-block of Prospect Drive near West Sugar Creek Road around 9:30 p.m.

According to police, when officers arrived they found an armed man, later identified as Galindo, outside the apartment complex. Officers reportedly told Galindo multiple times to drop the weapon.

Galindo refused to drop the weapon, according to police, and the officers perceived an imminent deadly threat. According to the police chief, at least two police officers fired their weapons and shot the man. He died from his injuries.

On Friday, the district attorney said "in this case, the evidence clearly supports the conclusion that Officer Guerra was facing a mentally unstable, impaired individual armed with a gun and that Galindo failed to properly comply with commands."

The Latin community reacted to the DA's decision.

"Though it is not a surprise we are disappointed," Action NC Hector Vaca said.

Vaca also says the DA may have made his decision but this case is not over.

"We feel confident that the family will find justice through the civil justice system," Vaca said.

The DA released this statement Friday:

While it is entirely possible that Galindo's intent was to surrender to police and give them the firearm, other alternatives that could have been lethal to the officers, neighbors in the community or other occupants of the residence were just as likely based on the information available to Officer Guerra in the seconds he had to evaluate the situation. This officer-involved shooting was indisputably tragic, but it was not unlawful.

Vaca claims the report reveals some issues the city is facing as it relates to the Spanish speaking community. Galindo called 911 to turn himself in. He didn't speak English. Vaca is concerned about 911 operators there to serve the community.

"The second 911 caller operator didn't sound like she had the strongest command of the Spanish language and didn't do a good job of explaining things fully to Rueben, so that right there contributed to any confusion there may have been on those calls," Vaca said.

The DA released a transcription of Galindo's 911 call. During the 911 call, Galindo reportedly said he had a gun but said it didn't have any bullets.

A spokesperson for the city released this statement:

Any loss of life is tragic. Our thoughts are with the Galindo family as well as Officer Guerra and the other officers involved. CMPD remains committed to ensuring the safety of the community it serves, as well as encouraging transparency and open dialogue.

CMPD says Guerra and the other officer involved in the shooting are currently on paid administrative assignment pending the outcome of an internal investigation. They say there is no set time-frame as to the conclusion of that investigation.


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