CALABASAS (CNS) - A man killed last week while camping with his two daughters at Malibu State Park was shot in the head, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported today.
Tristan Beaudette, 35, of Irvine, was fatally shot inside a tent in the popular campground at Malibu Creek State Park.
Detectives have not revealed the exact time of the shooting, but were summoned to the campground at 4:44 a.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Beaudette's killer remains at large, and a motive for the shooting is unknown. Beaudette, a chemist who worked in the pharmaceutical industry, had been camping with his daughters, ages 2 and 4, who were unharmed.
Their mother was reportedly studying for an exam and did not make the trip. Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter told the Los Angeles Times that Beaudette suffered a gunshot wound to the head and that additional details from the man's autopsy would be made available once a full report is transcribed.
Previous reports indicted Beaudette had been shot in the upper chest. According to The Times, there have been at least five other shootings in the area in the last two years. Two occurred on June 6 and July 22 last year and another on June 18, sheriff's department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida told the newspaper.
The Times also reported that a man named James Rogers had been hiking the backbone trail and was sleeping on Nov. 3, 2016 in a hammock in Tapia Park just south of where Beaudette was gunned down when he was struck by birdshot from a shotgun. At least two cars have been hit by gunfire in recent months in Malibu Canyon, near where Beaudette was killed.Sheriff's homicide detectives said they were aware of the reports, one of which involved a woman who posted video of a bullet hole in her vehicle along with photo of a shotgun slug that she said pierced the tailgate as she slept inside.
On Sunday, Los Angeles television stations reported that a Simi Valley woman and her boyfriend had been sleeping in their car's cargo area last January when it was hit by a large shotgun slug. Meliss Tatangelo says they were awakened by a ``large thump'' about 5 a.m., but went back to sleep. Later that morning, they discovered a bullet hole in the back hatch area, and a large shotgun slug rolling around inside the cargo area. Tatangelo said in a Facebook posting that she drove back to the park, called rangers, and had them examine the bullet hole and slug. She said the rangers told her that the slug had been fired at close range into the car.
In a statement released late Monday morning, Deputy Joana Warren said ``homicide detectives are aware there have been other shootings near the location in the past. However, there is no evidence that suggests this incident is related to any prior shootings near the location. The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information that will be released.''On May 16, the lifeless body of a man was found in a ditch, across the road from the Malibu Creek.
The coroner's office reported that Francisco Reynaldo Cruz, 52, of Los Angeles, had been killed by ``sharp force injuries" to the chest and neck, as well as from a ``blunt force injury to the head."
Sheriff's deputies told Malibu radio station KBUU last week that Cruz had been killed somewhere else, and dumped in the isolated canyon. After Beaudette was discovered shot, the campground was closed as a precaution, but trails in the area, including the paths to the ``M*A*S*H'' filming site, remained open.
Deputies asked anyone with information on the crime to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.