Audio files released to the Observer Friday help outline what happened the morning Matthew Chavez allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend, Jordan Gallegos.
The audio includes the 911 call Chavez’s brother-in-law made to authorities just after 4 a.m. Feb. 5 and a conversation between Chavez and the Rio Rancho Police Department, where they were able to talk Chavez into turning himself in at the Premiere Cinemas parking lot.
In releasing the audio, the city of Rio Rancho noted that the records had been redacted under the protected personal identifier information. Some of the content may be disturbing to readers.
“My girlfriend’s brother just came in saying he shot somebody,” the call opens with.
The 911 operator asked where it happened; the caller said he didn’t know. She then asked if Chavez had a gun. “I don’t know. We wrestled him for a minute to try to find one, but we didn’t find one,” the caller said.
He then answered that the brother was not inside the house on Briar Wood Court. He then described what Chavez was wearing and stated that he was in a white Buick.
The 911 operator instructed the caller to lock the house so the brother couldn’t get back in. “That’s the first thing we did. He’s not coming back in here,” he said.
“Apparently he left. Apparently he drove away,” he added, stating that he thought Chavez would go toward Albuquerque on Unser. He also confirmed that nobody in the house was injured.
“Do you know where the person is that he shot?” the operator asked.
“He said that it was his girlfriend. Her name is Jordan. We don’t know her last name,” he said.
“Do you know if she was in the car with him or if she was at a different house?” the operator asks.
“We didn’t see her,” he responded.
He went on to tell the operator that Chavez lives with his mom and that Gallegos bounced back and forth between there and living with her family.
“Did you see any blood on Matthew or anything to indicate that he had contact with the person that he shot?” the operator asks. The caller said that Chavez’s sister saw blood on his shoe.
The operator then asked if Chavez appeared to be intoxicated or on drugs. “He didn’t seem to be drunk or anything,” the caller answers.
The operator then asks exactly what Chavez said when he came to the house.
“He came in, said he shot Jordan, didn’t now what to do, begged us not to call the cops. We told him to take her to the hospital if he has her. The best-case scenario is he’s taking her to the hospital. That’s what I’m hoping,” he said.
“So you think she might have been in the car,” the operator asks.
“I think so,” he replies.
“Did he say anything on whether they were arguing or something tonight?” she asks.
“They always argue,” he answers.
She then asked if Chavez said what part of the body Gallegos was shot in, but the caller didn’t know.
The operator then collected information on where Chavez lived, his and Gallegos’ ages and gave instructions on what the caller should do when the police arrived. The caller also confirmed with the operator that Chavez owns a gun that he normally carries with him.
Officers then arrived at the house and the operator ends the call so that the caller could speak with police.
RRPD and Chavez
Later that morning, an officer with the Rio Rancho Police Department managed to contact Chavez by phone as he was driving in Albuquerque. It appears the audio is at least the second contact the officer has made with the suspect as he identifies himself “again.”
The audio also indicates Chavez had already agreed to meet officers.
“Just so we’re not in a residential area, would you mind pulling up over at the movie theater here?” the officer asks.
Chavez agrees and informs the officer he was on Paseo del Norte about the get on the freeway and was 10-15 minutes away. He confirmed that he was driving a white Buick Verano. “The gun is in the bottom right of the chair, like on the bottom right seat, the passenger floor,” he said.
“When you get there, just pull to the main doors, OK? Officers will make contact with you; just listen to their directions. Just put your car in park and keep your hands on the steering wheel and we’ll give you directions, OK,” the officer instructs him. He then offers to stay on the phone with Chavez until he got to the theater.
“Let’s do that. I don’t want there to be any confusion,” Chavez replies.
“Is there anyone with you at all? Is there anyone hurt with you at all?” the officer asks.
“Yes, sir. In the backseat there is someone,” Chavez says.
“Do they need an ambulance?”
“I don’t think, I think they’re gone, sir,” Chavez says.
The officer then instructs Chavez to come to Southern and Unser and pull up to the main doors of the theater using the entrance on the Starbucks side.
“I want there to be no confusion, no resistance, none of that,” Chavez says.
“So when I get there, are you guys gonna rough me up a little bit?” he asks.
“No. If you’re totally compliant man, all we wanna do is make sure nobody gets hurt,” the officer says. “And if you’re just following directions, I guarantee you won’t get hurt at all. We’ll talk about everything a little more when you get here. I don’t want you to get hurt, I don’t want me to get hurt.”
“I don’t want anybody to get hurt,” Chavez says. “I don’t want anybody to be freaked out.”
“I don’t know that anyone will be freaked out,” the officer tells him. “We just want to make sure that you’re safe and we’re safe and then we can have an adult conversation with peace.”
Chavez continues to update the officer on his location as he approaches Rio Rancho during the conversation. As Chavez approaches the parking lot, the officer gives him instructions on what to do.
“I’m gonna follow you in OK? Just go to the front of the movie theater and listen to my instructions when you get there,” he says. “There’s gonna be a lot of lights, but don’t be nervous. I you’re compliant, we’ll be compliant, too.”
“Absolutely. I’m with you guys,” Chavez says.
The officer then tells Chavez to roll down the window and that he’s going to hang up and give him instructions. Distant voices can be heard over the dinging of an open car door for the remainder of the recording. He was taken into custody without incident.
Chavez has been charged with first-degree murder in the case and remains on the inmate roster of the Sandoval County Detention Center.