Goshen shooting: Sheriff says 2 arrested in family's assassination
GOSHEN, Calif. — Two men were arrested Friday in connection to the Jan. 16 massacre of a family in the Tulare County community of Goshen.
Among the dead were a teen mom and her baby.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux announced Friday one of the suspects, 35-year-old Angel Uriarte, of Goshen, was shot after exchanging gunfire with state law enforcement agents while the agents served a search warrant. Uriarte is expected to survive. The second suspect, 25-year-old Noah Beard, of Visalia, was also arrested.
A criminal complaint filed Friday morning charged both men with six counts of murder.
A motive for the killings remains unclear, but the arrests were a major step for law enforcement investigating the massacre.
“I want the citizens of Tulare County to sleep a little safer tonight knowing that these baby-killing murderers are off the street,” Boudreaux said during a press briefing.
In what law enforcement have dubbed “Operation Nightmare,” state correctional officers searched dozens of inmates and cells as the search warrants were carried out.
Boudreaux did not share specific details of the prison searches. But he said the volume of the searches was “a clear indicator that there is a hard networking of violent gang members” across the state’s prisons.
According to authorities, thousands of items were collected as evidence from the home where the killings took place.
Investigators believe two of the victims were members of the “Sureño” gang while the alleged shooters are suspected members of the “Norteño” gang. Those are two major prison gangs in California whose dividing line falls along the border of Kern and Tulare counties.
Investigators also replayed a harrowing 911 call from one of the survivors. The unnamed woman told dispatchers that her boyfriend had just been shot in the stomach.
She survived the massacre by hiding in a trailer behind the property, investigators said. Other members of the Parraz family were murdered while they slept or fled the home.
Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said survivors of the massacre contacted his office for help with funeral expenses and other victim services.
Appeals to Gov. Newsom over violence
Boudreaux renewed a call for California Gov. Gavin Newsom to lift a moratorium on the death penalty in cases involving the murder of young children.
Boudreaux initially made those remarks in a previous briefing on the Goshen killings, and the appeals to Newsom renewed an ongoing spat between Central Valley law enforcement and the governor in light of community violence.
Newsom deflected the request earlier this week when he also criticized Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp over remarks she made after the shooting death of a Selma police officer. Smittcamp said state prison policies were to blame.
Newsom, responding to Boudreaux’s remarks on the death penalty, instead urged law enforcement “to catch the perpetrators” responsible for the Goshen slayings.
By Friday, Boudreaux’s department could finally say it made a break in the case.
“Governor, we’ve arrested the perpetrators,” Boudreaux said. “We’ve done our part. We’re asking you [to] do your part.”