Six people were killed Monday in what local officials have called a targeted attack in the small Tulare County town of Goshen, leaving family members including a 10-month-old baby and a 72-year-old grandmother dead.
The massacre has been described as particularly brutal for the execution-style killings of the baby, his teen mother and her grandmother, but much is still unknown about the attack. No one has been arrested.
For the record:
4:31 p.m. Jan. 18, 2023An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of one of the victims as Elyssa Parraz. The 16-year-old’s name is Alissa.
Tulare County Supervisor Eddie Valero, who represents the town, called the deaths “everyone’s worst nightmare.”
“These senseless acts of violence, especially with infants, children and young adults, have no place in our communities,” he said.
Here’s a breakdown of what The Times has confirmed from local officials, court documents and interviews.
What do we know about the attack?
The massacre occurred around 3:30 a.m. in and around the family’s residence in Goshen, near Visalia.
Deputies first found the bodies of the 16-year-old girl and her 10-month-old baby outside the home along the street, officials said.
It was clear that the young mother had tried to run away with her baby in her arms, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said. Forensic evidence later showed she had been caught before she could escape, and she and her child were shot in the head from above, execution style.
Deputies then found the door to the main house forced open and one person dead in the doorway. The grandmother was found dead, also shot in the head, apparently while asleep in her bed. Another victim was found dead in the threshold of the door to a trailer near the house. Six total were killed, many of whom were related.
Boudreaux called the attack targeted — not a random act of violence — though he declined to name the intended target or a possible motive.
Was a cartel involved?
The involvement of a drug cartel is still not confirmed, but sheriff’s officials say it’s a possibility.
Hours after deputies responded to the gruesome scene Monday, Boudreaux characterized the massacre as a targeted attack by an unspecified drug cartel.
But the following day at a news conference, the sheriff clarified his comments about such involvement.
“I’m not saying this is a cartel,” he said. “But also be clear, I am not eliminating that possibility.”
He said because of how the six were killed — shot in the head or “in places a shooter would know a quick death” would follow — it was likely a “high-level gang-style execution or cartel-style execution,” or possibly related to both gangs and cartels.
He did not name a specific gang or cartel.
Were there any survivors?
Three people were at the family compound during the attack and were not fatally shot, Boudreaux said. He did not identify the survivors but said they are “providing a great deal of information” to investigators.
One of the survivors hid in the main house by lying on the floor of a room, with his feet against the door, while two other survivors were in a nearby trailer, which the shooters never entered, the sheriff said.
Who are the victims?
Here are the names and ages of those killed, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office:
- Nycholas Parraz, 10 months
- Alissa Parraz, 16 years
- Marcos Parraz, 19
- Jennifer Analla, 50
- Eladio Parraz Jr., 52
- Rosa Parraz, 72
The Sheriff’s Office initially released an incorrect spelling of Alissa Parraz’s name, as well as the wrong ages for her and her son.
Rosa Parraz was Alissa and Marcos Parraz’s grandmother, according to sheriff’s spokesperson Teresa Douglass. Eladio Parraz Jr. was an uncle to Alissa and Eladio. Analla was a girlfriend of one of the survivors, the sheriff said.
The sheriff also noted that the property where the massacre occurred was a “known home to our department” for gang activity, but noted that not everyone at the house was involved in illegal activity, especially not all of the victims.
According to local court records, deputies had found ammunition, guns, marijuana and methamphetamine at the home Jan. 3 after a parole compliance check on a family member.
During that visit, Eladio Parraz Jr. admitted to being part of a gang tied to the Mexican Mafia prison gang, according to court records. He was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing ammunition as a convicted felon and posted bail a few days later.
Gino Hernandez, who lives nearby, said the extended Parraz family lives in multiple houses on the street where the massacre occurred. He said he’d known them for years and considered them friends.
“As far as I know, they were good people,” the 72-year-old said. “It’s a terrible thing.”
He said he had worked with Eladio Parraz Sr. in the agricultural fields that span the rural landscape. Through Parraz Sr., Hernandez said he got to know much of the family over the decades, but they weren’t particularly close.
What do we know about the suspects?
Authorities are searching for at least two suspects who they believe carried out the killings. Boudreaux said there could have been another person involved, perhaps as a getaway driver, but that is supposition at this point.
Deputies arrived at the compound just seven minutes after the first 911 call, but the shooters were long gone by then.
Officials on Tuesday announced a $10,000 reward for information that would help move the investigation forward and also asked for any video from nearby residences or businesses that may have captured anything suspicious early Monday.
Many in Goshen have been on edge since news of the massacre broke.
“People here are worried about their safety,” Hernandez said. “We’re all worried. … I’ve never see this here.”
He said he wasn’t aware of gang activity in the area and remembered shootings years ago.
“There’s been a little bit of drive-bys and stuff, but not like this,” Hernandez said. “The little baby, that’s what the hardest part is. … I’m still feeling it, you know?”
Times staff photographer Genaro Molina contributed to this report.