With the help of a witness and San Jose police, Gilroy police arrested a man who robbed a local liquor store while brandishing a handgun Jan. 6, according to authorities.

At 9:40am Jan. 6, suspect Joseph Eric Perez entered Paul’s Liquors, 9305 Monterey Road, with a handgun, reads a Jan. 7 post on the Gilroy Police Department’s Facebook page. Perez ordered the clerk to give him the money in the cash register while pointing the gun at his head.

Perez pushed and struck the clerk several times during the robbery. The suspect took the money, and as he started to exit, he turned and fired a single round at the clerk, police said. The bullet struck near the victim, who did not know Perez, but missed.

Joseph Eric Perez

Perez fled the scene in a gray Hyundai. A witness followed him and obtained a partial license plate number, police said. Gilroy police used the partial plate to identify the vehicle as belonging to Perez.

The suspect drove to San Jose and parked his vehicle in the area of Sixth and Santa Clara streets, according to police. San Jose officers spotted the vehicle and observed a number of spent bullet casings below the windshield.

Officers contacted Perez outside the vehicle and arrested him, authorities said. Located inside the vehicle were a firearm and other evidence allegedly linking him to the Gilroy armed robbery.

Perez was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of armed robbery, attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to police. Perez is also a narcotics and gang registrant. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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