Visalia man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend at gunpoint

Officers arrested a man who kidnapped his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint and fired a gun into her new partner's home, police said.

At around 1:40 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to reports of possible shots fired near Noyes Street and Laurel Avenue. Officers arrived and found two vehicles riddled with bullet holes near the area, police said.

The home is around the block from Veva Blunt Elementary school, just south of Highway 198.

Officers quickly identified 22-year-old Elijah Galaz as a possible suspect after several interviews with witnesses, police said. After learning Galaz had a prior relationship with the victim, detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit took over the investigation.

Galaz showed up at the victim’s home and forced her into her vehicle at gunpoint, police said.

Detectives were able to locate Galaz at the intersection of Hall Street and Houston Avenue driving a white truck. Officers tried to stop the vehicle, but according to police, Galaz kept driving and a short chase ensued.

Officers lost sight of the pickup near Encina Street and Oak Avenue, in downtown Visalia.

Detectives found Galaz a second time in the 1400 block of Westminster in Tulare. Again, officers tried to stop Galaz, according to police. And again, he fled.

The chase ended when Galaz slammed into a parked vehicle before running away. He was found by Tulare Police Department’s K-9 unit and arrested, according to police. The victim suffered minor injuries from the traffic collision, officers said.

Galaz was booked at Tulare County Pretrial Facility on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an occupied dwelling, failure to yield, hit-and-run, and kidnapping.

Lauren Jennings covers education and news for the Visalia Times-Delta/Tulare Advance-Register. Follow her on Twitter @lolojennings. Get alerts and keep up on all things Tulare County for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Visalia Times-Delta: Visalia man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend at gunpoint