Six people, including a teenage mother and her six-month-old child, were fatally shot early Monday in a central California home during a suspected gang-related shooting, according to local authorities, in what’s believed to be the second-deadliest mass shooting of 2023.
Local authorities responded to gunshots at a home in the small town of Goshen shortly before 4 a.m. local time, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told reporters Monday.
Police found six victims inside the home and the surrounding area, five of whom were pronounced dead and one of whom died at a nearby hospital.
The names of the victims were not immediately available, but Boudreaux said among the victims were a 17-year-old woman and her six-month old baby.
Authorities have identified at least two suspects in the shooting, Boudreaux said without specifying whether any suspects are in custody, adding authorities believe it was not a “random act of violence” but rather a “targeted family.”
Boudreaux said police suspect “gang associations” with the shooting, noting his office searched the home where the victims were discovered for drugs last week.
Boudreaux told the Los Angeles Times he believes the crime was “connected to the cartel” and “this was not your run-of-the-mill low-end gang member.” Several of the victims were shot in the head execution-style, according to Boudreaux.
This is the 29th U.S. mass shooting of 2023, as documented by the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident with four or more injuries or deaths. It is the second-deadliest shooting of this year and the fourth to record four or more deaths, according to the database. A January 5 homicide-suicide in Utah that claimed the lives of the gunman’s five children, wife and mother-in-law is the only deadlier shooting this year.
44,271. That’s how many Americans died from gun violence in 2022, including 315 children 11 years old and younger and 1,254 individuals ages 12 to 17, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Some 20,081 were killed in gun homicides and unintentional shootings last year, while another 24,090 died by suicide.