A New Mexico man was arrested after police received a 911 call from an Amazon Alexa smart speaker. Police say that 28-year-old Eduardo Barros was house-sitting with his girlfriend when they started to argue. Barros reportedly pulled out a gun and threatened to kill the woman, who authorities have not identified.
At one point, he asked her: “Did you call the sheriffs?”
The smart speaker and the voice-powered virtual assistant heard his question and believed it was a command, so it dialed 911 on the home’s landline.
“Barros told [the victim] he could not believe the cops had been called and he was not going back to prison and that she knew he was a felon. [The victim] stated she thought she was going to be killed or shot,” the responding officer wrote in his police report.
Authorities were able to remove the woman and her daughter from the home. She suffered minor injuries and the girl was unharmed.
Barros remained inside, and the deputies called for a SWAT team and a crisis negotiation team to convince him to surrender. After an hours-long standoff, Barros was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, aggravated battery against a household member, aggravated assault against a household member and false imprisonment. He was denied bond and will be held until his first court hearing.
“The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life,” Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III told ABC News. “This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation.”