Before officers shot and killed Rueben Galindo at a Charlotte apartment complex this week, police told him in Spanish and in English to drop the gun they believe he held, police said Friday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said late Wednesday there was a “language barrier.”
Galindo called 911 late Wednesday and said he had a gun, CMPD said Friday in response to questions from the Observer. He spoke with a Spanish interpreter during the 911 call, according to police.
Police officials say there was confusion while Galindo and the 911 Spanish interpreter were on the phone. Galindo gave vague answers to questions about what he planned to do with the gun and why he was calling, police said.
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Police said Galindo was instructed by the interpreter to put the gun in a safe place and show his hands to officers when they arrived.
The 911 call and the police shooting are under investigation.
CMPD said it plans to ask a judge to release video footage from the police-worn body cameras, and the department plans to release the 911 audio.
Galindo was fatally shot at his home in the Hunters Pointe apartment complex near Sugar Creek Road and Interstate 85 in northeast Charlotte.
CMPD officers on scene called for emergency medical responders at 9:35 p.m. Wednesday, according to Gregory Grevelding, a spokesperson at MEDIC. The call notified MEDIC personnel that one person on scene had been shot.
MEDIC arrived in about 10 minutes, Grevelding said. Galindo was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.
The initial 911 call from Galindo was routed through CMPD’s call takers. Grevelding said MEDIC has no information to provide regarding Galindo’s initial call.
Family and friends have scheduled a vigil for Galindo at 6:30 p.m. Friday outside his home.