Two officers recognize a car’s license plate wanted for domestic violence, pull over the car, and end up shooting 35 bullets at the driver, killing him instantly. NCAVF’s job was to help determine what led to that moment. Attorneys contacted NCAVF and asked if audio could be clarified from the police officer dash cam recording and a forensic audio transcript created to help understand the conversation between officers and the decedent.

Background summary:

On January 24, 2017, Josue Gallardo, pumped with lethal levels of cocaine and carrying a suicide note in his trunk, stopped his car along the road and refused to comply when cops asked to see his hands.

Clarified audio further highlights Gallardo’s intentions. Officer Calvert is heard asking if he has a weapon. He responds “maybe I have a gun.” Calvert tells him to put his hands where officers can see them, and the driver refuses. Gallardo tells Calvert to just shoot him. The officer responds “I don’t want to shoot you— I don’t know you.” Gallardo pulls out a BB gun designed to the exact specifications of a Walther PPK semi-automatic pistol. Officers fire. Gallardo is dead before the paramedics arrive on scene.

Evidence corroborates the toxic amount of cocaine in his bloodstream and the apologetic suicide note found later in his trunk. Gallardo was also seen listening to a police scanner that night, trying to locate officers. It was clear that Gallardo was attempting to die, and tragically a cop was the one burdened with that duty. The Defense filed for case dismissal and the judge granted it. NCAVF’s clarifications made it extremely clear that officers had no intention to harm anyone that night; the driver had other ideas.

Trial Stopped as Case Thrown Out by Judge

In the end, a judge ruled suicide by cop, to the extent that the judge felt evidence was so strong that no trial was necessary and threw the civil claim against the officers out of court.
As the officers said, “It absolutely broke my heart to learn the following day that he had simply chosen that place, that time, and us to end his life,” Calvert said. “And I hope some day that his family can understand that we share in their pain, and that the weight of his decision still wears heavy upon us both.”

For the detailed decision by the judge, see this public LINK from the courts.