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Drug Cartel Suspected in CA Deaths Of Six, Including 6 Month-Old Baby

In a suspected targeted attack by a drug cartel, six people, including a 6-month-old baby, her teenage mother, and an elderly woman, were killed Monday in a Central Valley farming community. The massacre occurred around 3:30 a.m. in and around a residence in the Tulare County town of Goshen. Authorities were searching for two suspects and said the killings may have been related to a search warrant carried out last week at the property that resulted in one arrest and the seizure of guns, marijuana, and methamphetamine. “I think it’s specifically connected to the cartel,” Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told the Los Angeles Times without specifying a particular criminal organization. “The level of violence … this was not your run-of-the-mill, low-end gang member.” Several victims were shot in the head, including the baby. A sheriff’s deputy responding to reports of gunfire found the infant cradled in the arms of her 17-year-old mother, who also had a gunshot wound to the head, in a ditch outside the home. An elderly woman was discovered dead in a bed and also shot in the head. “It appeared she was shot in her sleep,” Boudreaux said. Three men were also killed.

It was unclear whether the man arrested last week during the search by a gang and narcotics unit of the Sheriff’s Office was one of the victims. DNA testing will be required to identify at least one of the male victims because of damage done to his face by the gun or guns used. Two women survived the attack by hiding in a trailer on the property. Boudreaux said they told investigators that people saw intruders approaching on surveillance cameras. “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,” he said. The door of the home had been kicked or pushed in, and one man was shot in the doorway. It appeared the teenage mother was trying to run away with her child when they were killed. The “manner and swiftness” of the attacks suggested experienced killers, the sheriff said. “If [they] are specifically shooting everyone in the head, they know what they are doing ... [and] they are comfortable with what they are doing.” At about 3:38 a.m, a woman in a trailer next to the main residence reported that “a male — Larry — shot her boyfriend,” according to a recording of a Sheriff’s Office dispatch. “She believes somebody may be inside the house,” a dispatcher said. Additional 911 calls were coming in from neighbors “across the street advising they’re hearing gunshots,” the dispatcher said. The mostly Latino community of Goshen was stunned by the killings and Tulare County Supervisor Eddie Valero, who represents the town, called the deaths “everyone’s worst nightmare.”


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