The Wake County Sheriff's Office has charged the father and sister of Alexander Gallardo with accessory after the fact of attempted murder of a Wake County sheriff's deputy.
After his arrest Monday, Gallardo, 18, apparently told deputies that his dad and sister were trying to help him flee the country, Gallardo's sister-in-law, Cynthia Flores, said Tuesday.
But Flores and Gallardo's mother tell a different story. Leticia Gallardo said her husband, Froilan Gallardo-Mercardo, and daughter Lydia Sanchez were taking her son downtown so he could turn himself in to police.
Flores, 20, said her brother-in-law called his parents Monday and asked for their help. She said family members wanted to help but were afraid for his safety and their own.
"They were trying to bring him in before things got out of hand," Flores said. "They knew he was armed and dangerous and were worried about his safety if the cops got to him first."
Deputies charged Gallardo with attempted murder, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon, discharging a firearm in an occupied vehicle and assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm.
Investigators think he intended to kill sheriff's Deputy U.A. Espinoza on Sunday night when he fired a gunshot that pierced the windshield on the driver's side of the officer's patrol car during a stolen-car chase that ended when the car crashed in Raleigh.
Four people in the car ran after the crash, according to the sheriff's office. The other three were quickly arrested, but Gallardo remained at large until Monday about 2:15 p.m. when deputies found him inside a vehicle they stopped on Rock Quarry Road.
Gallardo is being held at the Wake County jail under $3.9 million bail. But he has also been denied bail for a parole violation. Gallardo absconded in August from post-release supervision after he was let out of prison two months before.
Froilan Gallardo-Mercardo and Lydia Sanchez have both been charged with felony accessory after the fact of attempted murder. They both remained in the Wake County jail Tuesday afternoon under $400,000 bail each.
Flores said Gallardo is angry because he thinks they tipped off sheriff's deputies and led them to him.
At a court hearing Tuesday, Wake County District Court Judge Jacqueline Brewer told Alexander Gallardo that he could spend nearly 70 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
Brewer told Gallardo-Mercardo and Sanchez they could each spend up to 17 years in prison if convicted of accessory after the fact of attempted murder.
Family members say Alexander Gallardo belongs to a gang. While a bailiff led him out of court Tuesday, a young man sitting in the courtroom whistled. Flores described the young man as one of Gallardo's "homies" and a member of the gang "18th Street."
After the hearing, Leticia Gallardo described her son as a "troubled child" whose first run-in with the law was at the age of 12 when he broke out the windows of homes in their neighborhood.
Leticia Gallardo does not speak English and relied on Flores to interpret for her.
"When he was 15, he shot someone in the leg," said Leticia Gallardo, who added that her husband turned their son in to police.
"He was released the same day," she said. "I told them to let him stay and do his time and then release him. We tried to get him help."
Leticia Gallardo said her husband has legal permission to be in the country. He works as a salad helper and dishwasher at the Hibernian Irish Pub on Falls of Neuse Road and is the "caretaker of the house."
"Without him here, I don't know what we're going to do," she said.