CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - The man shot and killed by an undercover police officer after an apparent road rage incident Thursday in east Charlotte was a gang member, sources say.
A source close to the investigation tells FOX 46 Charlotte that Josue Diaz was a member of the Sur 13, a Mexican-American gang. Sur 13, also known as Sureños or Sureños 13 , is part of a loosely affiliated group of gangs that have a presence in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They have spread as far east as North Carolina. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center, the Sureños are associated with drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico.
Diaz, 28, was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who was undercover. According to investigators, the undercover detective was sitting in traffic when Diaz sideswiped his vehicle and took off.
"The undercover officer followed and at some point the suspect pulled a gun and fired shots at the officer, " said Deputy Chief Jeff Estes during a news conference Thursday. "The officer fired back, striking the suspect."
Diaz was pronounced dead on scene.
Officers say Diaz used a .22 caliber revolver, which was recovered at the scene. Detectives located a bullet hole and projectile in the undercover detective's vehicle, which they say came from a .22 caliber round.
Diaz's passenger, Juan Jose Silverio, tells FOX 46 Charlotte that Diaz stopped the car to apologize to the undercover officer and that it was the officer who fired first.
"When he went up to the window, the person started firing at him," Silverio said. "He wasn't carrying a gun because the gun was in the compartment between the seats and the gun was legal."
Due to the undercover nature of undercover detective's assignment, his name is being withheld. Per CMPD policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave.
FOX 46 Charlotte also spoke with Diaz's father who said he wants to know the truth about what happened when the undercover office shot and killed his son.