On this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, residents of Goshen, California complained of a noise they believed to be coming from an active shooter. Tulare County police officers were dispatched to the neighborhood as early in the morning as 3:37 a.m. but were unable to prevent any fatalities. Six people were shot and killed, including a teenage mother and her six-month-old baby. Not all bodies were discovered at once.
According to Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux in a press release covered by CNN, deputies arrived on the scene of the shooting at around 3:37 a.m., and immediately encountered two dead bodies. Later, they found a third body in the doorway of the home. As they searched the property they found three remaining victims.
The sheriff’s office presumed the attack to be connected to the Norteño gang. It stated that acts of violence are not uncommon in this area, but not to this extent. As such, investigators believed that the severity of the incident would be in line with the gang.
This suspicion has been furthered by the identification of Eladio Parraz Jr., a victim of the shooting convicted of multiple felonies days prior to his untimely death. On Jan. 3, Parraz was found guilty of possession of multiple firearms and a controlled substance in a routine parole compliance check on the home. He was released on bail four days later.
In late January, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux had continually expressed his outrage and frustration towards the situation in a number of press releases and speeches. In one release, he called upon Governor Gavin Newsom to lift the ban on the death penalty in situations such as this one, but not to any avail.
“What these cowards did is disgusting and I want to see them face their judgment. This was a cartel-like execution. We are not eliminating the idea that the cartel was involved. But we are looking at all avenues. We are looking at every fact. We will not give up until we find these monsters,” Sheriff Boudreaux said in a press release.
A week later, Tulare County police forces began to track down their two suspects, Noah David Beard and Angel Uriarte, in what was known as “Operation Nightmare.” Sheriff Boudreaux, in another release, mentioned that they only continued with the search when they had concrete DNA evidence.
“Operation Nightmare” involved the manhunt of Beard and Uriarte across neighboring towns Visalia and Goshen. It began the morning of Feb. 3 after the Tulare County District Attorney made sure no mistakes had been made in the process of their arrests.
“More than 100 detectives, officers and agents from local and federal agencies, executed search warrants at three locations. […] Detectives arrested Noah Beard without incident. At that same time, a warrant was served in the 6600 Block of Ave. 308 in Goshen. Angel Uriarte was found at that location, but ran from law enforcement. While he was running, Uriarte fired several shots at ATF Agents. The agents fired back, hitting Uriarte in the torso. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery. He is expected to survive,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook on Feb. 3.
Investigators and law enforcement have concluded that the attack was the work of rivaling gangs, but the exact motive for it remains unclear. Though the suspects have been identified and arrested, the investigation remains ongoing.