A witness to the shooting of a motorist by an undercover police officer on Jan. 26 called 911 to report that a series of gunshots were being fired on a busy Charlotte street.
“I need police bad,” the man said to a dispatcher in a recording released Tuesday. “I’ve got a guy in a brown SUV on Albemarle Road shooting five or six times at another guy in a truck in front of him.”
Then the caller described the officer moving to the front of the first truck, gun drawn.
“Now he’s walking up to the windshield, and he’s holding a pistol on the guy.”
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Another call received at 911 to report the shooting about the same time was from a second man, who told the operator that other police were already arriving.
“There’s been an auto accident,” he said. “A man is out with a gun. I believe he shot one other man that’s at the accident scene.”
Neither caller made any mention of the man in the first truck firing at the undercover officer, but police have maintained that he fired a .22 caliber revolver and the shot struck the officer’s SUV.
Josue Javier Diaz, 28, died at the scene. A second man in Diaz’s truck was not hurt.
Another recording released by Charlotte Mecklenburg Police in response to a public records request from The Charlotte Observer contains radio traffic from officers at the time of the shooting. Voices in all the recordings were legally altered to address privacy concerns.
A man who appears to be the undercover detective tells a dispatcher that another motorist “just hit me and he’s trying to run away from me ... I’m trying to follow him.”
He then asks for other police units to assist him as he continues to follow the truck.
After about two minutes, the officer shouts to the dispatcher: “Shots fired! Shots fired! Shots fired! ... One down ... I got two, one is down ... I need Medic and it doesn’t look good.”
Diaz’s death has been the subject of conflicting accounts.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, the car in which Diaz and another person were riding side-swiped the undercover detective’s unmarked car about 1:15 p.m. on Albemarle Road.
Police say Diaz got out of his car and fired his .22-caliber revolver at the officer. Investigators recovered the gun at the scene and identified a bullet hole and projectile in the unmarked vehicle the officer had been driving, police say.
Diaz’s family, friends and others have contended that the police shooting was not justified. A friend who said he witnessed the incident has said Diaz was approaching the officer’s vehicle to apologize after his truck side-swiped the officer’s auto.
Juan Jose Silverio, who said he was in the truck at the time of the shooting, has said that Diaz’s gun remained in the glove compartment the entire time.
Diaz “got out of the truck to talk to (the other driver) but when he got out of his truck, the officer started to fire, “ Silverio said after the shooting.
CMPD has not identified the officer in shooting, maintaining that he was working in an undercover capacity. Police have said the confrontation remains under investigation.
Family members and activists have asked CMPD to release the name of the officer. Without his name, it is impossible to examine the officer’s work history, including information about suspensions and other instances of use of force, activists have said.
CMPD typically releases the officer’s name, rank, years of service and other public information after shootings.
So far, CMPD has only described the officer as a Hispanic male.
North Carolina grants police departments discretion about when to release names of undercover officers.
Diaz, a California native, had a Mecklenburg County purchase permit to buy a gun, records show. It’s unclear whether he used the permit to buy a gun or if he later received a North Carolina concealed-carry permit.