Six people – including a 16-year-old mother and her six-month-old baby boy – were killed in a shooting in the early hours of Monday at a home in central California in what police described as a ‘horrific massacre.’
The infant was found cradled in the arms of her mother, Alissa Parraz, in a ditch outside the home. Both had been shot in the head as Parraz attempted to flee with her infant son.
Authorities are searching for at least two suspects in what appeared to be gangland-related murders, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies responded around 3:30am to reports of multiple shots being fired at the home in Goshen, just east of Visalia, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said.
‘Actually the report was that an active shooter was in the area because of the number of shots that were being fired,’ Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told reporters.
The infant was found cradled in the arms of her mother, Alissa Parraz, in a ditch outside the homes
Detectives investigate a shooting in Goshen near Visalia, California early on morning Monday
Tulare County Sheriff’s officials say six people including a 16-year-old mother and her 6-month-old baby were killed in a shooting early on Monday at the home in central California
Deputies found two victims dead in the street and a third person fatally shot in the doorway of the residence, Boudreaux said.
Three more victims were found inside the home, including a man who was still alive but later died at a hospital, he said.
The sheriff said investigators are searching for at least two suspects but have not yet released the identities of any of the victims, nor have they released a description.
Two people survived by hiding inside a trailer on the property.
‘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,’ the Sheriff said.
Alissa Parraz, who was one of the six found shot dead had posted about her pregnancy online
The baby boy and his 16-year-old mother had both been shot in the head in the brutal killings
Police say the killings appear to be targeted. The baby and his mother were attempting to flee when they were each shot in the head
Two people were found dead in the street and one was found in the doorway to the home
They believe there is a gang connection to the killings. The sheriff’s office conducted a narcotics-related search warrant at the residence last week, Boudreaux said.
‘We also believe this was not a random act of violence. We believe this was a targeted family,’ he said.
‘Detectives believe there are at least two suspects. It appears this family was targeted and there are gang associations involved, as well as potential drug investigations.
‘I think it’s specifically connected to the cartel. The level of violence … this was not your run-of-the-mill, low-end gang member,’ Boudreaux expained.
‘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.
‘I do have more information but I’m not at liberty to discuss at this point,’ Boudreaux said. ‘We have potential information, which will hopefully lead to potential suspects.’
‘A week ago, TCSO Detectives conducted a narcotics search warrant at the victims’ home,’ a spokesman added.
‘I think it’s specifically connected to the cartel. The level of violence … this was not your run-of-the-mill, low-end gang member,’ Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told reporters
Police continued to process the crime scene throughout the day on Monday
Two of the victims, the young mother and her child, were shot in the head, the sheriff said.
Samuel Pina said Monday that his teenage granddaughter, Alissa Parraz, and her baby, Nycholas Nolan Parraz, were among those killed.
‘I can’t wrap my head around what kind of monster would do this,’ he said.
Pina said Parraz and her baby were living with her father’s side of the family in Goshen, and that her dad’s uncle, her dad’s cousin, and her grandmother and great-grandmother were also killed.
At least one of the the elderly women were murdered in their sleep, according to ABC.
Neighbors called 911 reporting an active shooter because they heard so many shots being fired
DNA testing will be required to identify at least one of the men because of damage done to his face by the gun or guns used, the sheriff said.
He said the family is in shock. ‘It comes in big waves,’ he added.
Goshen is a semi-rural, mostly Latino community of about 5,000 residents 35 miles southeast of Fresno in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley.
County Supervisor Eddie Valero, who represents the town, called the deaths ‘everyone’s worst nightmare.’
‘These senseless acts of violence, especially with infants, children and young adults, have no place in our communities,’ Valero said in a statement.
Tulare County, a small agricultural region with a population of less than half a million, has historically played a significant role in the transnational drug trade, transporting drugs from Mexico to various markets in the United States.
The county, which is bisected by the 99 Freeway and has a limited law enforcement presence, acres of open land, and a highly mobile population of farmworkers, has been a haven for drug traffickers since at least the 1970s.
In recent years, the area has also become known for the production of methamphetamine and the cultivation of both legal and illegal marijuana.
Notable and violent figures of Mexico’s drug wars, such as former leader of the Zetas cartel, Jose Maria Guizar Valencia, have connections to Tulare County as he was born there.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218.