Tulare Police officers descended upon the apartment complex on North Blackstone Avenue, around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, after Porterville Police asked for their help locating an armed kidnapping suspect. The suspect's car had crashed into the complex.
Tulare Police say while the suspect did not shoot at officers, he was acting in a threatening way and officers had no choice but to shoot the man they believed was armed and dangerous. The suspect died from his injuries.
"Located in the suspect's possession was two shot guns and a handgun that had been recovered and secured by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department," said Capt. Larry Brooksher with the Tulare Police Department
Neighbors reported hearing numerous gunshots go off and seeing a dramatic scene unfold.
Jessica Herrera, who lives across the street from the apartment complex, said she saw three officers shooting at the suspect's car and another officer trying to prevent, what she believes was the kidnapping victim, from going back towards the car. Afterwards, she says the victim seemed distraught. "Shortly after there was a girl sitting on the pavement rocking back and forth she looked pretty hysterical. The people from the apartments were just going crazy. It was really terrible to see."
Witness Viviana McGill said, "Nervous. Scared for my kids. Really scared for my kids. They were really shaken up so we had to talk to them and explain what was going on."
Tulare Police say the suspect died at the scene. Porterville Police say the kidnapping victim was not in the car during the shooting but Tulare Police admit there was a passenger in the car next to the suspect.
The situation first began in Porterville at a house on North Cottage Street. Porterville Police say an armed suspect showed up to this house and took a woman against her will.
"We heard a ruckus. We thought they were fighting and he came out and -- basically I guess he was getting in the car. She seen him getting in the car and lean in the back seat and tell her 'shut up,' said the kidnapping victim's neighbor Adam Beaty.
Beaty said a relative of the victim then came out and asked them to call 9-1-1. He said the suspect then drove away.
It was clear to neighbors that the relationship between the suspect and victim was troubled. "She was trying to get away from him. It was a broken up relationship boyfriend-girlfriend type deal. She had moved over here to kind of get away from him," said Beaty.
The suspect's name has not been released. The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave.