CALABASAS (CBSLA) – Authorities Friday confirmed that there have been seven other shootings over the past 19 months at or near Malibu Creek State Park, where an Irvine father was shot to death last week while camping with his two young daughters.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed there have now been a total of eight mysterious shootings going back to Nov. 3, 2016. A shooting was also reported on June 18, four days before the fatal killing of 35-year-old Tristan Beaudette.
Detectives have not linked the killing of Beaudette to any of the other shootings.
Four of the shootings were in the California State Park jurisdiction. Those occurred on:
Nov. 3, 2016
Nov. 9, 2016
Jan. 7, 2017
July 30, 2017
The other three were in the sheriff’s department jurisdiction and occurred on the following dates:
June 6, 2017
July 22, 2017
June 18, 2018
Beaudette, a chemist, was shot in the early morning hours of June 22 at a campsite near the 1900 block of Las Virgenes Road. Deputies responded to find Beaudette in his tent with a gunshot wound. He died at the scene. He had been camping with his daughters, ages 2 and 4. Neither were hurt.
Investigators haven’t said from which direction the gunfire came which killed Beaudette.
Deputy patrols have been increased in the area and about 60 campsites in Malibu Creek State Park have been closed indefinitely since the shooting occurred. Hiking trails in the area remain open.
The sheriff’s department and California State Parks has received extensive criticism for not issuing an alert to campers earlier regarding the shootings.
“If an alert had been issued to the public by the authorities, Tristan Beaudette may have made a different decision as far as his camping plans that night, and he may still be alive today,” CeCe Woods, editor in chief of The Local Malibu, told CBS2.
Two people who were hit or nearly hit in two of the other unsolved shootings have spoken out about their experiences. James Rogers told CBS News Wednesday that he was sound asleep at a campsite in November 2016, about one mile from where Beaudette was killed, when a stinging pain jolted him awake at 3 a.m.
“I was trying to take my earphones out, I felt just kind of a stinging sensation in my arm,” Rogers said. “I tried to get up and just fell right through the hammock down to the ground.”
It wasn’t until pellets starting falling out of his right arm that Rogers knew he had been shot. He showed CBS News the birdshot pellets.
“So they’re a little bit smaller,” Rogers said. “Three millimeter diameter BBs. But it shoots a hundred of them,” Rogers said.
Rogers described his case to California State Parks, but said they never followed up with an official report. Nearly two years later, he doesn’t think investigators ever took him seriously.
In January 2017, a Simi Valley woman and her boyfriend were sleeping in their car’s cargo area in the park when their car was hit by a large shotgun slug.
In a Facebook post, Meliss Tatangelo says they were awakened by a “large thump” at about 5 a.m., but went back to sleep. Later that morning, they discovered a bullet hole in the back hatch area, and a large shotgun slug rolling around inside the cargo area.
Tatangelo said that she drove back to the park, called rangers, and had them examine the bullet hole and slug. She said the rangers told her that the slug had been fired at close range into the car.
Jessica Ramos of Sun Valley came hiking in the park unaware of the mysterious shootings.
“That’s really scary,” she says, “I wouldn’t have come. Surprised about this,” said Ramos.
Anyone with information on any of the shootings is asked to call detectives at (323) 890-5500.