A 16-year-old mother and her infant son appeared to be fleeing what authorities described as a “massacre” at their California home when they were shot in their heads, officials said Tuesday.
Alissa Parraz and 10-month old Nycholas Parraz were among six people killed in the small farming community of Goshen overnight Monday in what Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said was either a gang or cartel-related shooting.
The sheriff’s office initially said the teen was 17 and her baby was 6 months old. Forensics showed one or more people stood over them when they fired, Boudreaux said.
Their bodies were found in the street outside the home, he said.
Others killed in the shooting included Rosa Parraz, 72; Marcos Parraz, 19; Eladio Parraz, 52; and Jennifer Analla, 49.
Eladio Parraz was the teens’ uncle; Rosa Parraz was their grandmother; and Analla was in a relationship with another family member who was not killed, sheriff’s office spokesperson Teresa Douglass said.
“None of this was by accident,” Boudreaux said. “It was deliberate, intentional and horrific.”
Authorities believe two people were responsible for the shooting. Neither have been identified or apprehended and Boudreaux could not provide a possible description.
A 911 caller who reported the shooting around 3:30 a.m. was inside the home and survived, Boudreaux said Tuesday.
“He could hear shots fired up and down the hallway,” he said. “He put his feet against the door to keep them from opening it.”
At one point, he could hear the shooters rattling the door knob before they moved on, Boudreaux said.
“He was in such a state of fear that all he could do was hold the door, hoping that he was not the next victim,” Boudreaux said.
Two more survivors were hiding in a nearby trailer where one of the victims was fatally shot, he said, adding that the shooters did not enter the trailer. Three other victims were found inside the home.
Deputies arrived at the home in the unincorporated community in California’s Central Valley seven minutes after authorities began receiving 911 reports.
By then, Boudreaux said, the shooters “were long gone.”
Boudreaux declined to say why the family appeared to have been targeted by a gang or cartel. He said the home has previously been linked to “routine” gang activity.
One of the victims, Eladio Parraz, was arrested there earlier this month when authorities conducted a parole compliance check, Boudreaux said. He was found to be felon in possession of multiple weapons and a controlled substance.
Parraz was released on bail four days later, Boudreaux said.
A $10,000 reward was offered for information related to the killings, he said.