Mysterious shootings have shocked an outpost of LA better known for its idyllic lifestyle
One November two years ago, a wildlife biologist named James Rogers was spending the night in a hammock above Malibu when he awoke to a burning sensation in his arm and the realization that hed been peppered with buckshot.
He was in a park about 200 yards (182 meters) off the main road that leads from Malibus fabled beaches up into the hills of Calabasas, a place frequented day in and day out by tourists, day trippers, and avid hikers like himself.
Six days later, a man sleeping in his car in nearby Malibu Creek state park reported being shot at, too, although he was unharmed. Two months after that, it was a couple, also in the state park, whose vehicle was hit by gunfire.
Remarkably, these incidents caused little stir. Residents of the local canyons everyone from Hollywood A-listers such as Will Smith to more modestly affluent denizens might have been thrown into a panic if they had known. But the incidents went largely unreported, and the police were in no hurry to ascribe them to a single perpetrator.
Still, the random shootings continued. In June 2017, a motorist reported his car being hit by a bullet on the main mountain road. A month later, another camper was shot at in Malibu Creek state park. I came very very close to being hit, the camper, Meliss Tatangelo, later reported in a Facebook post. When the police came they told me, Things like this dont happen here.
Except they kept happening anyway. And, in June, they led to an actual murder, under the most horrifying of circumstances. Tristan Beaudette was camping with his two daughters, aged two and four, when he was shot in the head in his tent shortly before dawn. Beaudettes widow, who was home studying at the time, called his death a senseless act.