Tulare County massacre: Two arrested in cartel-style killing of 6 people
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. - Two gang members suspected in the massacre of six people last month in central California were arrested early Friday, one after a gunbattle, the Tulare County sheriff said.
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said Noah David Beard, 25, was taken into custody without incident and Angel "Nanu" Uriarte, 35, was wounded in the shootout with federal agents and was undergoing surgery.
The suspects and members of the victims’ family have a long history of gang violence but the motive for the shooting "is not exactly clear," Boudreaux said at a news conference at the sheriff’s headquarters in Visalia.
Goshen homicide suspects. Photo: Tulare County Sheriff
Two members of the victim family were well known Sureños gang members in the town of Goshen, which is predominantly held by the Norteños gang. The two suspects arrested are Norteños gang members, sheriff Boudreaux stated.
"This was not a random act of violence. This family was targeted by cold-blooded murders," the sheriff said.
Boudreaux said as soon as they identified the suspects they had them under constant surveillance and worked to gather enough evidence to charge them.
"We knew every move they were making. The public was not at risk."
The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office charged both suspects with six counts of murder and other crimes.
The six victims, including a teen mother and her baby, were gunned down on Jan. 16 inside a house in rural Goshen, a community of 3,000 in the San Joaquin Valley.
RELATED: Mother, infant among 6 killed execution-style were trying to escape
The sheriff said the arrests stemmed from "Operation Nightmare" in which multiple search warrants were served and inmate cells associated with a prison gang were searched in multiple state prisons.
The victims were identified as Rosa Parraz, 72; Eladio Parraz, Jr., 52; Jennifer Analla, 49; Marcos Parraz, 19; Alissa Parraz, 16; and Nycholas Parraz, 10 months.
Goshen homicide victims. Photo: Tulare County Sheriff
Sheriff Boudreaux said the young mother was fleeing for her life with her infant son in her arms when they were murdered in a "cartel-style" execution down the street from the house.
New surveillance video released Friday shows the teenage girl running outside and placing her baby on the other side of a fence, then jumping over it herself. Authorities said Beard shot and killed both of them in the back of the head.
RELATED: California family of 6 killed in cartel-style execution: Sheriff
The sheriff has said Alissa Parraz had just been awarded full custody of her son after he spent months in the foster care system. The two were reunited on Jan. 13 — three days before they were killed.
In addition to the six family members who were killed, three people survived the attack by hiding. Authorities later learned that the 911 call came from a surviving victim of the shooting.
Multiple agencies across the state including ATF were involved in the cases.
The Goshen killings were part of a violent and deadly month in California.
On Jan. 21, a shooting at Monterey Park dance hall killed 11 and wounded nine. The gunman later killed himself. On Jan. 23, shootings at two Half Moon Bay farms killed seven and wounded one before the suspect was arrested.
The Associated Press contributed to this report