On Friday, the authorities in California’s Central Valley reportedly arrested two men who they believe were responsible for the murders of four members of the same family, including a 10-month-old baby, the previous month. Six persons were killed in the early hours of January 16 when they were attacked and shot execution-style at close range, even locals who are used to gang violence were shocked by the brutality of the killings.
Teen mom, 16, and her infant son were shot in the head as they ran away. There was a 72-year-old grandmother and a 19-year-old man who liked to stay up late playing video games among the victims. On Friday morning in Goshen, the tiny town along Highway 99 where the murders took place, federal officers arrested Angel “Nanu” Uriarte, 35.
Tulare County police arrested 25-year-old Goshen resident Noah David Beard without incident in neighboring Visalia. Mr. Uriarte was taken to the hospital after he was shot during the incident involving ATF agents, and his condition has since been upgraded to stable.
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Both suspects have extensive criminal records, and the district attorney’s office in Tulare County has charged them with six counts of murder in addition to “special allegations,” such as using their crimes to advance the goals of street gangs and possessing firearms despite being prohibited from doing so due to their felony status.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux called the men “validated” members of the dominant Norteos gang during a press conference. The sheriff reported that the assailants broke into the home at 3:38 am and shot and killed Eladio Parraz Jr., 52, a member of the rival Sureos gang.
He stated that it was “not exactly clear” what motivated the murders, and that inquiries into the matter would continue. At the very least two people on the property where the shooting took place managed to escape unharmed and provided critical information to the police.
Mr. Boudreaux said the arrests were the result of a coordinated effort by more than a hundred agents from various agencies. After identifying the two perpetrators a week after the shooting, police began conducting constant surveillance of them. Mr. Boudreaux, speaking at the Visalia sheriff’s office, claimed, “We knew every move they were making.” They were safe under our wing, just where we wanted them to be.
“Once we had DNA information, we jumped,”
He stated his firm belief that the two individuals under investigation were the only ones responsible for the crime. Mr. Boudreaux reported that on Friday morning, search warrants were executed in three locations in Goshen and Visalia, in addition to state prisons, to find inmates with ties to the prison gang Nuestra Familia, which is affiliated with the Norteos.
Also viewable is the tweet from last month, in which 2 guys expressed suspicion that:
Two men suspected of slaying four generations of the same family, including a 10-month-old baby, were captured on Friday near the house where the grisly crime occurred last month in the Central Valley of California, according to the authorities. https://t.co/P4yIeMoFmm
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 4, 2023
While gangs have existed in California for decades, many of the gang’s top leaders are currently behind bars, making it difficult for street gang members to get any real help. Around 900 gangs have been identified in Tulare County, a large agricultural area that is home to nearly 500,000 people.
Despite the fact that gang violence has become endemic in California’s Central Valley, the agricultural heartland, the brutal murder of a family of five—including three women and an infant—shook the 5,000-person town of Goshen and sent shockwaves across the country.
“This family was targeted by coldblooded killers,”
Mr. Boudreaux has repeatedly demanded that since the murders, Governor Gavin Newsom reverse his 2019 moratorium on the death penalty. On Wednesday, when asked whether he would do so in this case, Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, responded only that the attackers should be caught and the case closed.
“Governor, we arrested the perpetrators. We are asking you to do your part,” the sheriff said on Friday. Mr. Boudreaux stated that Alissa Parraz, a 16-year-old mother, had fled the scene with her infant son Nycholas after hearing gunfire. At the press conference, surveillance footage was shown showing her putting her son on the other side of the fence and jumping over.
The sheriff then stated that both the mother and child were found dead in the street, having been shot in the back of the head by Mr. Beard. The sheriff said the assailants also shot and killed Mr. Parraz’s 72-year-old mother, Rosa Parraz, while she was on her knees. Mr. Parraz’s son, Marcos Parraz, 19, who was not a member of a gang, and Mr. Parraz’s girlfriend, Jennifer Analla, 50, who was asleep when she was murdered, were the other victims, the sheriff said.
A week before the ambush, police had searched the family’s home for illegal substances and discovered marijuana, methamphetamine, and weapons. The 52-year-old convicted felon Mr. Parraz was taken into custody and released after posting bail four days later. According to the F.B.I., there are more than 30,000 gangs in the United States, making up over a million people.
The groups’ level of sophistication, organization and mobility has increased over the past few years. Along the southern border of the United States, they collaborate closely with Mexican drug cartels that handle the export of illegal substances. It is believed that cartels in the Central Valley work with and supply drugs to local Latino, Black, and Asian criminal organizations.
In an effort to increase their territory and drug sales, the Norteos and Sureos gangs have dispersed members all over the United States. Problems once associated only with large cities are now prevalent in many suburban and rural areas. Court documents stated that both Mr. Uriarte and Mr. Beard had “planned, sophisticated, and professionally” executed the crime.
It stated that Mr. Beard had “numerous and of increasing seriousness” juvenile delinquency proceedings, including allegations of robbery and assault, and previous convictions as an adult. Mr. Uriarte was found guilty of using a firearm in a gang-related assault in 2015. Multiple people were shot and killed over the course of eight days in California, including two in the impoverished town of Goshen located between farmland and warehouses in the fertile San Joaquin Valley.
Twelve people were shot and killed by a gunman at a ballroom dancing hall in Monterey Park, California, on January 21. Nine others were injured. Two days later, on May 3, seven more farm workers were shot and killed in Half Moon Bay, and a coworker was arrested for the crime in San Mateo County.
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