The horror of the “cartel-style” massacre that left six people dead in central California last month has been answered with arrests. Two suspects, Angel Uriarte and Noah Beard, were taken into custody and are known members of the Norteño gang.
The victims of the January 16 shooting included a young mother and her 10-month-old son, and the motive is not yet clear. Authorities believe it was a conflict with members of the Sureños, a rival gang. The suspects and the victims had a long history of gun violence, gang violence and drug dealings.
Uriarte was injured in a shootout with ATF agents before he was taken into custody and is now in stable condition. Beard was taken into custody without incident. Both are accused of killing 16-year-old Alissa Parraz and her 10-month-old son, Nycholas, as they fled the overnight shooting at a home in Goshen. The other four victims were identified as Marcos Parraz, 19; Eladio Parraz, 52; Alissa’s grandmother, Rosa Parraz, 72; and Jennifer Analla, 49. All the victims died of gunshot wounds, most were shot in the head, including the 10-month-old boy.
The arrests were part of a multiagency effort dubbed Operation Nightmare, which included searches of several California prisons and 24/7 surveillance of the suspects over the last 10 days. DNA left at the scene was credited with quickly leading law enforcement to zero in on the pair. Uriarte and Beard are each facing six counts of murder, along with enhancements relating to the use of a firearm, and that the acts were committed in participation of a criminal street gang. The suspects may eventually face the death penalty if convicted.
The massacre came before a series of back-to-back mass shootings in California late last month, including an attack during a Lunar New Year Celebration in suburban Monterey Park, just west of Los Angeles. The arrests of Uriarte and Beard are a small victory in the face of the violence that has plagued California in recent weeks.