Police: Suspect arrested in kidnapping of ex-girlfriend, fatal shooting

Published Wed, Feb 7, 2018 (9:49 a.m.)

Updated Wed, Feb 7, 2018 (4:50 p.m.)

A man with a history of stalking and violence against his ex-girlfriend shot and killed a man at the woman’s west valley house early this morning and kidnapped her before he was arrested following a police chase, according to Metro Police.

Court records show a turbulent relationship between the former couple in which the woman appeared to be terrorized by the suspect, Joseph Louis Fernandez, 27.

Officers responded shortly before 4 a.m. today to the 3300 block of Robin Nest Court, near Desert Inn Road and Hualapai Way, where they found a gravely wounded man who later died at a hospital, Metro Lt. David Gordon said. The victim was an acquaintance of the woman, police said.

Multiple neighbors called 911 to report a woman’s screams outside a house, Lt. Dan McGrath said.

Police soon learned a gunman had kidnapped a woman from the house and taken off in a gray BMW, Gordon said.

About 30 minutes later, the woman called 911 from a pharmacy and told police she had been kidnapped but was able to escape from an apartment on Tropicana Avenue, near Decatur Boulevard, McGrath said.

A woman at the apartment, who was connected to the kidnapping, was taken into custody, and patrol officers tracked down the male suspect and initiated a car chase, McGrath said. It was not clear what, if any, counts the female faces.

Police were able to spin out the male suspect’s vehicle near the Interstate 15 on-ramp at Tropicana and took him into custody, McGrath said.

The man and his ex-girlfriend were described as having a tumultuous relationship, which led to multiple arrests of the gunman, McGrath said.

The ex-girlfriend had filed many domestic violence and stalking reports against the suspect and had obtained a temporary restraining order, McGrath said.

He is “very violent” and has associations with the Mongols biker gang, McGrath said.

Last week, Metro detectives talked to the woman and persuaded her to leave the house, but she returned sometime before the shooting, McGrath said.

Fernandez’s latest arrest took place in November after officers responded to a call — in the same neighborhood of the shooting — of reports of a crash and high-speed chase, according to his Metro arrest report.

Surveillance video captured a BMW being hit and then chased at high speed by a large pickup truck Fernandez was driving, police said. The same footage saw the victim driving back with the man in the pickup.

Photos in the arrest report show two heavily damaged vehicles.

Fernandez, who called 911, told arriving officers that he was inside his girlfriend’s house when a man showed up and took off with the woman in their BMW, police said.

The woman initially told detectives the man she drove away with had attempted to carjack her, but later admitted that she was the only person in the car and was only trying to leave Fernandez due to an undisclosed incident from the previous week, police said.

But the victim, who had a blackened eye and a scratch on her face, appeared spooked when she realized police talking to her wore body cameras, according to the report. She asked if the footage would be kept in a file and if Fernandez would later be able to view it.

“(She) became upset and worried about what Joseph would do to her when he found out what she told officers,” police wrote in the report.

Fernandez that day was arrested on a count of domestic battery with a deadly weapon, court logs show. He was next scheduled to appear in court in March.

As of this afternoon, jail records did not show what counts he would be booked on in relation to today’s shooting.

When he was confronted about the footage disproving his story about how the November crash occurred, Fernandez asked for a lawyer, telling them that the woman also would not be speaking to them, according to the report. “It appeared to (the detective) that this statement was given to further assert his dominance” over the woman.

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