Six people were killed in Tulare County, including a mother and baby
Six people, including a six-month-old baby, his teenage mother and an elderly woman, were killed Monday in a Tulare County farming community in what the sheriff said was a targeted attack by a drug cartel.
The carnage occurred around 3:30 a.m. in and around three residences in Goshen, a suburb of Visalia. Authorities said they are looking for two suspects and that the killings may be related to a search of a home last week that led to an arrest and the seizure of firearms, marijuana and methamphetamine.
“I think it’s particularly cartel related,” Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreau told The Times. “The level of violence … this was not your average gang member.”
Authorities have not released the names or ages of all the victims, but some appear to have been family members.
Boudreau said several people were shot in the head, including the baby. A sheriff’s deputy responding to reports of a wild shooting found the boy in the arms of his 17-year-old mother in a ditch outside the homes. Both have gunshot wounds to the head.
The third female victim, an elderly woman found in bed in the residence, was also shot in the head.
“It looks like he was shot while he was sleeping,” Boudreau said.
Three men were also killed. One of them was alive when deputies arrived, he was given CPR and taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.
It’s unclear if the man arrested last week during a search by the sheriff’s narcotics unit was one of the victims, Boudreau said. The sheriff said DNA testing will be needed to identify at least one of the men with gunshot or gunshot wounds to his face.
Two women hid in a caravan and survived the attack. Boudreau told investigators that people in the home saw the intruders approach on surveillance cameras.
“They saw two men sneaking into the house…but not before they got there [the video feed]it was too late to do anything.
According to him, the teenager was trying to run away with her child when her mother was killed.
Investigators have not released the names or descriptions of the suspects.
The “method and speed of the killing” suggest experienced killers, Boudreau said.
“Ba [they] namely, shoot everyone in the head, they know what they’re doing… [and] they’re comfortable with what they’re doing,” the sheriff said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218.
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