In Visalia, California, the members of a small farming community were all preparing to go to bed, but for one family, a night of horror awaited them. The family was having a quiet night near Visalia in a town known as Goshen when suddenly, gunfire erupted, hitting multiple members of the home. Deputies responded to a call of an active shooter in the area because of the number of reported gunshots that rang out throughout the neighborhood; the usually sleepy town of Goshen is a designated census place in California, part of the county of Tulare in California.
The town was shocked awake when hearing the gunshots ring out at around 3:30 a.m. on Monday, January 16. The police responded to the call and were disturbed by what they found. Bodies were strewn on the street, two on the road and one in the doorway. During a house search, officers found three more bodies inside, all related to one another, leading the police officers and other experts to suspect gang-related activity.
The spread of the bullets, forensic analysis of the bullet holes, and wounds showed that many of the victims were murdered assassination style, according to the Associated Press article reporting on the shooting. They luckily found one person alive in the home, who later succumbed to their injuries in the hospital and passed away.
Gang connections are what the police are theorizing due to the absolute slaughter of the family in the less than 3,000-resident town of Goshen, California. Police are currently investigating how the family had been murdered, analyzing other evidence collected at the scene through a drug-related forensic search of the home. With the evidence being collected and shown, investigators have theorized the murder was a drug-related hit put out on one family member, which led to the entire house being massacred along with the main target, although it is only speculation.
Additionally, two members possibly related to the gang are the only suspects in the case who are still at large as of the writing of this article. Two of the victims, a 16-year-old mother named Alissa Parraz, and her baby, Nycholas Nolan Parraz, were two of the most brutalized murders at the scene. The two were found on the street when police arrived that fateful morning.
The pair had been running when one man caught up, stood over them, and killed them. In an interview with the other grandfather of the young woman, he told the Press, “Her baby and her were living with her father’s side of the family in Goshen...her dad’s uncle, cousin, grandmother, and great-grandmother were killed.” He also said, “I can’t wrap my head around this…what kind of monster would do something like this?”
Although the murderers are still at large, police have released more information on the family related to gang affiliation. One of the family members, 52-year-old Eladio Parraz Jr., has an extensive criminal record, according to the police, that includes: Reckless driving, drug possession, and firearm possession. According to law enforcement, a warrant led to his arrest on January 3 due to his extensive criminal record.
He was released and murdered on the night of the massacre. The officers also said, “The shooters knew where to shoot for a killing blow…there was no reason for them to kill the young mother and her child, the child was dependant on her comfort, no reason to kill either of them.”
The family is devastated, and rightfully so. The other victims ranged from 19 to 72 years old, so young to lose a life to the unfortunate reality of gang and drug-related crime.
Gang-related violence is something that has plagued this country for a long time. 13% of murders in the United States are gang-related, according to an article by Safeatlast, which also states an unfortunate statistic saying that upwards of 2,000 murders are gang-related yearly.
Police officers and other law enforcement agencies are working on getting gangs under control and arrested, but it is a more difficult task than many let on. California has instituted laws that increase the punishments for gang members and leaders found in possession of drugs. Harsher bail amounts, longer sentences, and more to try and curb gang-related activities throughout California. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, California has seen a 6% increase in violent crime in 2022. During 2023, these trends will hopefully see a downward curve over time due to the extensive laws that California is putting in place to curb violence on every level, which might be a very daunting task.
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