In the middle of the night, the perpetrators break into an apartment building and shoot six people, including a baby and his young mother. The sheriff suspects that a drug cartel is behind the horrific massacre.
Los Angeles – A 17-year-old mother and her baby have been shot in the head in a gruesome sextuple murder in the US state of California. The crime took place in a small town called Goshen in Tulare County and is believed to have been committed by drug offenders, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told reporters. According to the Los Angeles Times, district manager Eddie Valero spoke of a “bad nightmare” that had come true.
With the help of two eyewitnesses who went on the run and surveillance cameras, it was possible to reconstruct how two men broke into the property of a residential building around 3:30 am (local time). Then, one by one, the fatal shots were fired. When the first policemen arrived at the scene of the crime soon after, they were presented with a terrible picture.
The door to the house had been kicked in and a dead man lay in the hallway. The young mother apparently tried to run away with her 6-month-old baby, Boudreaux said. Her lifeless body was later found in a ditch, the dead child cradled in her arms. According to investigators, both were shot in the head, as was an elderly woman in the home who was apparently killed while sleeping in her bed.
The remaining dead are men whose bodies lay in the street in front of the property. One of them could only be identified through DNA testing due to the severity of his facial injuries. According to police, several of the victims belonged to the same family.
Police believe in nefarious professional killers
At least two fugitive suspects are wanted, presumably with ties to gangs and drug offenses. “I think it’s directly related to the cartel,” Sheriff Boudreaux told the Los Angeles Times. “This level of violence, it wasn’t a classic petty criminal.”
Rather, such a “horrific massacre” points to nefarious professional killers. Investigators are looking into a possible link to a house search from a week ago that led to the arrest of a person and the seizure of firearms, marijuana and methamphetamine.
According to the newspaper report, the town of Goshen has around 5,000 inhabitants, most of them with Latin American roots. Although, or perhaps because, only half a million people lived in the Tulare County agricultural district, it played an important role in the smuggling of drugs from Mexico to the United States. The area has been a haven for smugglers since at least the 1970s. dpa