Jan 16 (Reuters) – Six people, including a six-month-old baby cradled in the arms of its 17-year-old mother, were shot dead at a home in California’s main agricultural valley on Monday in what authorities called a targeted attack and a “horrific massacre”.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreau linked the murders to the illegal drug trade, saying deputies executed a drug-related search warrant at the same home last week.
“We believe this is a message sent,” Boudreau told reporters at the scene. “We believe this was a targeted family.
Two suspects remain at large, he said.
Authorities responded early Monday after multiple gunshots were heard. Some victims were found on the street, while others were found inside the house.
One victim was alive and injured when authorities arrived but later died at a hospital, Boudreau said.
The attacks took place in Goshen, a farming community of 5,400 people halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The bodies of the baby and the 17-year-old mother were found in a ditch outside the home, Boudreau later told the Los Angeles Times. Both have gunshot wounds to the head.
Several others were shot in the head, including an elderly woman. Two women survived by hiding in a trailer on the property.
“I think it’s specifically related to the cartel. The level of violence … this was not your average low-end gang member,” Boudreau told the newspaper.
“If (they’re) specifically shooting everybody in the head, they know what they’re doing … (and) they’re comfortable with what they’re doing.”
The newspaper reports that last week’s search warrant resulted in one arrest and the seizure of guns, marijuana and methamphetamine.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, Calif. Editing by Josie Cao and Matthew Lewis
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
#killed #California #home #shooting #including #6monthold #baby #mother