Police arrested a Hollister man on suspicion of shooting a firearm toward several people in Gilroy, authorities said. 

The incident happened about 10pm Jan. 20 in the area of the 900 block of Kern Avenue, Gilroy Police said in a recent social media post. Officers arrived at the scene and located a victim, who was unharmed by the gunfire.

Joel Eduardo Valencia

Investigators found that the suspect, Joel Eduardo Valencia, 27, of Hollister, was involved in a physical altercation with the victim, police said. During the altercation, Valencia produced a firearm and discharged multiple rounds in the direction of the victim. 

The gunfire was also discharged toward “several small children who were in close proximity,” says a Jan. 24 Facebook post by Gilroy PD. No injuries were reported.

Valencia left the area in a black vehicle before police arrived. An officer later saw the vehicle near Mantelli Drive and Fuchsia Court and attempted to make a traffic stop, police said. 

The driver did not stop, and led police on a brief chase that Gilroy PD terminated due to the potential danger to the public, authorities said. 

However, police found that Valencia had crashed into a parked vehicle and a fire hydrant on First Street. Officers who searched the inside of the vehicle found a loaded 9mm handgun, police said. 

Valencia was arrested at the scene of the crash, without further incident, according to police. He was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of charges related to the shooting and possession of an illegal firearm. 

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.



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