CBS News

Family of Irvine Man Killed in Malibu Creek State Park Suing LA County Sheriff's Dept., Other Agencies

January 18, 2019 - 2:08 pm
Categories: 

MALIBU (CNS) - The family of a man shot to death while camping at Malibu Creek State Park with his two young children last year has filed claims for more than $90 million against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other state and local agencies, accusing them of failing to warn the public about several shootings in and around the area before the slaying, it was reported today.

Tristan Beaudette, 35, was killed in June, the target of a gunman who took random potshots at several others who camped near the popular hiking trails, prosecutors have said.

Anthony Rauda, 42, a vagrant who lived in the surrounding area, was charged Jan. 7 with murder for the June 22, 2018, shooting death of Beaudette, along with 10 counts of attempted murder. Rauda is also charged with five counts of second-degree commercial burglary in the Calabasas area between July 2018 and October 2018.

Claims for damages were filed last month on behalf of Beaudette's widow, Erica Wu, and the couple's 2- and 4-year-old daughters, who were camping with their father in a tent when he was shot, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

Authorities did not reveal the other shootings until after Beaudette's death, following inquiries by the Times and other news media.

 "The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, California State Park Police, Department of Parks and Recreation, and California State Parks and Recreation Commission have confirmed they were aware of at least seven unsolved shootings in Malibu Creek State Park," the claims filed by attorney Victor George allege.

The claims allege that deputies and state park officials "negligently failed to care and provide a safe space for Beaudette and his children, instead causing his death."

Sheriff's and parks officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Rauda was arrested near Malibu last October in connection with a string of burglaries, but news that he was carrying a rifle at the time of his capture led to speculation that he might have been the gunman connected to the sporadic shootings. Forensic tests confirmed that the rifle he was arrested with was used in several of the shootings, said two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the case candidly.

Beaudette's killing was the last in the series of attacks, and it left residents of the greater Malibu area unnerved and frustrated.

 Rauda -- who has remained jailed since he was taken into custody -- is due in a Van Nuys courtroom next Tuesday for arraignment. He could face life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.