Teen suspect accused of shooting at Wake County deputy faces judge

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A teenager charged with trying to kill a Wake County sheriff's deputy faced a judge Tuesday afternoon.

Alexander Gallardo, 18, is accused of shooting at a deputy Sunday night during a chase.

Monday night, ABC11 cameras caught Gallardo smiling and flashing possible gang signs when he faced a magistrate judge.

There were no such outbursts in court Tuesday. However, one of Gallardo's friends in the courtroom was asked to leave because he was whistling at Gallardo, who looked back at his friend and smiled before being led away.

Family members said the sign used Monday night was not one used by the gang his family says he belongs to -- the 18th Street Gang founded in Los Angeles.

ABC11 spoke with Gallardo's mother through an interpreter at her Raleigh home.

It was Sunday night that a bullet pierced the windshield of Wake Sheriff's Deputy Unberto A. Espinoza as he tried to stop a stolen car on the beltline. The sheriff said Espinoza's radar unit trapped the bullet, which kept it from striking him.

Deputy Unberto A Espinoza

According to state records, Gallardo first went to prison when he was just 16. He served four months and was back again less than three months later. This time he was behind bars for nine months.

His first arrest was for breaking and entering two years ago. Since then, he has had many more mug shots taken and each time there were more and more tattoos on his head. They are the result of gang activity, according to family members.

"He's been a problem teen since the age of 12," said a woman at Gallardo's mother's home. "At the age of 15, he shot a man in the leg."

The woman interpreted for Gallardo's mother who is upset that Gallardo's father and half-sister have been arrested for allegedly helping him evade investigators.

"Their actions were trying to take him into custody because knowing Alexander, if the cops had got to him first, it would have ended with the cop being injured or Alexander being injured," said the woman.

Gallardo's mother says his family has turned him in before.

"His dad said he'll rather have his, have to go see his son in jail than in the cemetery," said the woman.

The teenager, known by his gang as "Shadow," and his half-sister were born in the U.S. and are citizens, according to their family.

His father, according to court records, is being looked at by immigration to see if he is in the U.S. illegally. His family, however, said he is documented.

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