A teenage mother and her 10-month-old baby were shot in the head “assassination style” in an attack in central California that killed six people.
Authorities received a call at 3:38 a.m. Monday to reports of multiple shots fired at a residence in the town of Goshen, about 170 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
A gunman fired multiple shots into the skull of 17-year-old Alissa Parraz and killed her child Nycholas as they tried to flee the attack, police said.
The other four victims were all relatives, ranging in age from 19 to 72, including Ms Parazz’s grandmother, who was shot dead in her sleep.
Police are investigating whether a gang or drug cartel attacked the family and are hunting for two suspects.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said a forensic investigation showed Ms Parrazz tried to flee, but the gunman stood by her side and fired multiple shots at her.
He said: “Obviously this family was targeted.
“None of this was accidental … it was deliberate, deliberate and terrible,” he told a news conference on Tuesday.
Family linked to gangs and drugs
He added that the gunman “had no reason” to kill the young mother and her child.
Authorities said they were searching for the two suspects and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.
Mr Boudreaux said the house was gang- and drug-linked, but on Tuesday he walked back an earlier comment that the violence was likely a cartel attack, saying investigators were still looking into that possibility.
The sheriff cited past gang activity at the home, but said not everyone shot was a drug dealer or a gang member.
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“I can’t imagine what kind of monster would do such a thing,” said Ms Parazz’s grandfather, Samuel Pina.
He said the teen and her children lived with her father’s family, and that her father’s uncle, her father’s cousin, her grandmother and great-grandmother were also killed.
three survived the attack
The teen, her grandmother and baby are all presumed innocent victims.
The other four victims were: Rosa Parraz, 72, and Eladio Parraz, Jr. 52, Jennifer Analla, 49, and Marcos Parraz, 19.
Three people survived the attack and will be questioned by police.
Mr. Boudreaux said convicted felon Mr. Parazz Jr was not “the original target,” declining to elaborate.
Goshen is a community of approximately 3,000 residents in central California in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley.