An entire family was murdered in a suspected cartel-related attack in Tulare County, California.
At least six people, among them a 6-month-old baby, her teenage mother and an elderly woman, were fatally shot in southern California, with police suggesting the massacre was linked to a violent drug cartel operating in the area.
The shootings took place at around 3:30am on Monday morning in the town of Goshen, California, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities did not name the victims, but said they included a 17-year-old girl and her infant child, whose bodies were found in a ditch near their home, both shot in the head.
“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,” Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told the Los Angeles Times, though did not specify a specific criminal group thought to be involved.
An elderly woman was also found in bed with a gunshot wound to the head – apparently killed in her sleep, according to Boudreaux – while the three other victims were men, one of whom was still alive when officers arrived at the scene. He later died from his injuries while receiving treatment in hospital, however.
“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 added, noting that the “manner and swiftness” of the killings indicated they were carried out by seasoned criminals and likely not random acts of violence.
Police said at least some of the victims appeared to be family members and that there were survivors of the “horrific massacre,” but offered few other details.
The home attacked on Monday was recently raided by police, who seized guns, cannabis and methamphetamine after serving a search warrant, the Times reported. One arrest was made at that time, though it remains unclear whether that individual was among the victims of the massacre or otherwise related to the shootings. Boudreaux said at least one of the male victims would need to be identified by DNA due to the extensive damage done to his face during the attack.
Two suspects are now wanted by authorities, though investigators have yet to release their names or descriptions.
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