CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers are on administrative leave after they shot and killed a man in north Charlotte on Wednesday night.
Police were called to the Hunters Pointe Apartments on Prospect Drive around 9:10 p.m. to investigate reports of a man with a gun after someone called the 911 language line.
Investigators said when officers arrived, they found a man, Rueben Galindo, standing outside with his hand inside his waistband. At some point, police said Galindo raised his hands and officers saw he was holding a gun.
Police said Galindo, 29, called 911 and was transferred to a language line where he could speak in Spanish.
He said he had a gun, and when officers arrived, they found him with a gun in his hands.
Police said Galindo ignored officers' commands to drop the weapon and that's when the two officers fired shots, killing him.
“At some point, one of his hands is raised. They see a weapon, a gun, a handgun. They perceive a lethal threat that's imminent and at least two officers that we know of at this time fired their weapons,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney.
Police identified the two officers involved as Officer Courtney Suggs and Officer David Guerra. Suggs has been with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since December 2015 and Guerra has been with the department since April 2013.
The Police Department tweeted that no officers were injured and "our thoughts are with all involved."
Overnight, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts tweeted about the shooting, saying, in part, "I have spoken with the city manager and mayor pro tem Lyles, and we are working together with the chief to make sure there is a full and transparent investigation. My heart breaks for the family."
Investigators said they recovered the weapon and tagged it into evidence.
Putney said investigators plan to review the initial call to get a sense of what led up to the shooting.
“We don't have all the specifics. That's why we've got to pull the tape to find out exactly what was said, and what transpired,” Putney told Channel 9.
The Internal Affairs Bureau will also conduct an investigation to determine if CMPD followed proper procedures.
Investigators are checking to see if there is body camera or dash cam video.
Investigators are still trying to determine why Galindo had a gun and called 911.
Channel 9 found court records showing that he had been arrested in April after he admitted that he'd pulled a handgun on a man.
Some are still questioning whether police acted too fast.
Hector Vaca, a local activist with Action NC, said some in the community are wondering if police didn't try hard enough to communicate with Galindo.
“Once again, the fact that he called the language line means that he's not an English speaker,” Vaca said. “There was a barrier, so the police's response was inappropriate, was aggressive because the man could not understand what they were saying.”
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