A suspected gang member—if not cartel member—stood over a 16-year old mother holding her 10-month-old baby and shot them in the heads during a massacre in Goshen, a central California farming community attack.
The killers, who are still on the lose, left six dead at a home linked to drug dealing, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) told media on Tuesday.
“It’s shocking to the nation. It’s shocking that this kind of violence in our community exists,” said Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.
Deputies responded to reports of gunshots at around 3:38am local time. The location was Harvest Road, just east of Highway 99
When they arrived at the scene, they found that a 16 or 17 year old mother and her 10 month old had been shot execution style.
The other slain victims were ages 19, 49 and 52, as well as a 72-year-old grandmother, who was shot in her bed, Boudreaux said.
The victims of the shooting have been identified by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office:
- 52-year-old Eladio Parraz Jr.
- 19-year-old Marcos Parraz
- 49-year-old Jennifer Analla
- 72-year-old Rosa Parraz
- 16-year-old Elyssa Parraz
- 10-month-old Nycholas Parraz.
“I think it’s specifically connected to the cartel,” Boudreaux said.. “The level of violence … this was not your run-of-the-mill, low-end gang member.”
He added: “None of this was by accident…It was deliberate, intentional and horrific.”
The killings also featured an element of sophistication.
“These people were clearly shot in the head and they were also shot in places that the shooter would know that quick death would occur,” the sheriff said. “What took place is very much like what we’ve seen in the past when it comes to execution by cartel.”
Boudreaux ultimately admitted they can’t be sure from where the violence stems, but he isn’t eliminating the possibility.
“It is very clear that this family was a target,” he said.
“If [they] are specifically shooting everyone in the head, they know what they are doing … [and] they are comfortable with what they are doing,” the sheriff said.
Three people survived the attack.
“We do have family that has been escorted from the scene, we do have survivors,” Boudreaux said, saying investigators had yet to determine how they survived what he said was a “horrific massacre.”
One victim survived the initial attack. First responders adminsitered CPR but he was eventually pronounced dead.
One man survived by hiding in a room.
“He was in such a state of fear that all he could do was hold the door, hoping he was not the next victim,” Boudreaux said.
An elderly woman discovered dead in a bed also was shot in the head.
“It appeared she was shot in her sleep,” Boudreaux said.
A man from the home was arrested during a search by a gang and narcotics unit of the county Sheriff’s Office. It’s unclear if he is one of the victims. DNA testing will be required to identify at least one of the male victims due to damage done to his face by bullets.
Two women hid in a trailer on the property, and survived. They told deputies they saw people on the property approaching via surveillance cameras.
“They could see two men sneaking onto the property … but by the time they came on [the video feed], it was too late to do anything,” he said.
A woman who claimed to be in a trailer next to the main house reported that “a male — Larry — shot her boyfriend,” according to a recording of a Sheriff’s Office dispatch.
“She believes somebody may be inside the house,” a dispatcher told responding deputies. “She’s scared.”
Meanwhile, neighbors were also calling 911. “Across the street advising they’re hearing gunshots,” the dispatcher said.
By the time deputies arrived, the killers were gone.
“How many total ambulances do you need out there?” the dispatcher asked.
“Four,” a deputy said. He later called for two more.
He said of the last one: “It’ll be [for] a child.”
No arrests have been made, and anyone with any information is asked to contact his office or call 911.
The Sheriff made clear: “Not all the people in this home were gang members” and not all were drug dealers.”
He noted how the mother and child were both innocent victims.
Prominent figures from Mexico’s recent drug wars have ties to Tulare. Jose Maria Guizar Valencia, former leader of the Zetas cartel, was born there.
“I know a lot … a lot I can’t tell you,” the Sheriff said of the investigation, suggesting they have persons of interest.
A $10,000 reward is given to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.