Even more shootings uncovered at Malibu park before father was killed while camping, Sheriff’s Department says
People ride their bikes during a visit to Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
From left, Dominic Solge, Lawren Durham, David Capone, Tim Watson, and Andrew Lindley walk together, during a visit to Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Abigail Xom, foreground, and her husband, Rafael Gomez, return from a hike at Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A road leading to the camping area at Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas is closed following a fatal shooting.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Daniel Garcia and Kimi Markley return from a hike in Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Malibu Creek State Park is closed during the investigation into a fatal shooting.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Friday it has identified seven shootings in the Malibu Creek State Park area, but have yet to link them to the death of a father who was fatally shot earlier this month while camping with his two young daughters.
The Sheriff’s Department said three of the shootings occurred in its jurisdiction, while the other four were in the state park’s jurisdiction. The incidents occurred between 2016 and this month.
Tristan Beaudette, a scientist who worked in pharmaceuticals, was camping at the state park in Calabasas just off Las Virgenes Road when he was fatally shot in the head June 22 inside his tent, where he was sleeping with his 2- and 4-year-old daughters.
The Times reported earlier this week that at least five other shootings have occurred in the area in the last two years, outraging some neighbors who complained they had not been notified of the attacks by the Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives will be working with officials from the California State Parks Department to compare any similar incidents that have occurred within Malibu Creek State Park.
A young man hiking the Backbone Trail and sleeping overnight in a hammock in Tapia Park, just south of Malibu Creek State Park, was struck by birdshot from a shotgun on Nov. 3, 2016.
James Rogers said he needed surgery to remove the pellets that hit him. “I heard a loud bang and then felt a burning sensation in my arm and fell to the ground,” he said. “Before I could look at my wound, I did a quick check of the perimeter and I saw nothing.
“I sleep with my arm up by my head, and I suspect I was shot at close range,” he told The Times in an interview this week.
Rogers said there has been no headway in the investigation of his shooting. He said he was not sleeping in a formal campground and was about 200 yards from Malibu Canyon Road when he was shot in his right arm.
“I was told by those working out there, there have been several other shootings,” he said.
Meliss Tatangelo was camping in her Honda when she heard a loud noise around 5 a.m. in January 2017. She and another camper did not go outside, but she later found part of an ammunition round in the back of her car where she had been sleeping. She reported the incident to authorities, she noted on her Facebook page.
She wrote that she believes a shotgun was fired from about 20 feet away and if the line of fire had been an inch higher, she would have been struck as she slept.
L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Moore, who is overseeing the latest investigation, said in an interview Monday that detectives had no evidence connecting any prior shootings to Beaudette’s death but that they could not rule out any potential links.
Besides Beaudette’s fatal shooting on June 22, here are the dates of the shootings in and around Malibu Creek State Park:
- Nov. 3, 2016
- Nov. 9, 2016
- Jan. 7, 2017
- July 22, 2017
- June 6, 2017
- July 30, 2017
- June 18, 2018
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