A 43-year-old man was charged Monday with killing a father who was camping at Malibu Creek State Park in California with his two daughters amid a series of random sniperlike shootings that had residents on edge for years.
Anthony Rauda was charged with murder, 10 counts of attempted murder, and five counts of second-degree burglary in connection with shootings in the area for more than two years.
While others were injured, Tristan Beaudette, a 35-year-old scientist, was the only one killed while inside his tent with his two daughters in Malibu Creek State Park, sparking a massive search for a suspect and a years-long investigation.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were later able to determine that other random shootings and burglaries in the area were committed by the same person, prompting fears that there was a sniper targeting random people in the area.
Rauda allegedly terrorized the Malibu area by firing on unsuspecting campers or motorists since November 2016.
In August, two months after Beaudette died, Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff Lt. James Royal told BuzzFeed News that there had been nine reports of gunshots in the large state park.
Residents and visitors to the park had also been telling officials about random shootings in the area for more than two years. In 2016, a man hiking the park’s Backbone Trail was shot at close range while sleeping in a hammock. Others reported that their vehicles, including a Tesla, had been shot at.
Rauda allegedly fired into three vehicles in 2017, but no one was injured. He was arrested in October on suspicion of burglary in the area and reportedly was carrying a rifle that authorities thought could be linked to the shootings.
In another interview with BuzzFeed News in October, after Rauda was taken into custody, Royal said that the spate of burglaries helped identify the 42-year-old as the suspect because he was caught on camera stealing food from vending machines.
"We believed it was a transient who had been living in the park for some time and would emerge in the early mornings to steal food," Royal said at the time. "Investigators found fresh footprints leading up to a steep ravine, followed them about 50 feet, with help from air support, and found a man dressed in black who matched the guy from the surveillance videos."
Rauda was being held on a parole violation and was set to be released this week until he was charged, the Los Angeles Times reported.
If convicted, he will face life in prison.