Tulare County Sheriff addresses gun violence after shooting leaves 6 dead in Goshen

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Saturday, January 21, 2023
Tulare County Sheriff addresses gun violence after shooting leaves 6 dead in Goshen
A shooting that left six dead in Goshen has not been confirmed as a cartel hit, but Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says it is a possibility.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux is speaking out about violence linked to drugs, gangs, and cartels in the South Valley.

It comes after he said those could all be factors in shooting that left six people dead in Goshen on Monday morning.

Authorities say the victims were executed, many of them shot in the head. The killers allegedly stood over 16 year old Alissa Parraz and her 10 month old baby, Nycholas, and fired the fatal shots after she ran into the street to escape.

The violent crime has not been confirmed as a cartel hit, but Sheriff Boudreaux says it is a possibility.

"Mexican cartels are here. What we have learned historically, though, is that the cartels are working in partnership with the gangs," explained Sheriff Boudreaux. "I can tell you that historically gangs and gang leadership of those who have I've talked to in my career, and how gangs operate. Very seldom do you have gang leadership that would allow women and children to be killed."

Sheriff Boudreaux is also chairman of HIDTA, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and says the Central Valley has always been a hub for drugs because of where it is on the map.

"Historically, we find there are large amounts of drugs that come through the corners of California into and distributed through different parts of the United States," said Sheriff Boudreaux.

Boudreaux believes state and federal policies are a big part of the equation when it comes to stopping the flow of drugs into the country and holding criminals accountable.

He says at the local level, part of the approach is targeted operations to make arrests and seize drugs and guns.

"So, our job is, try to rid them. Those communities and dismantle those gangs and Mexican cartels who are preying upon the innocence of those who just want the best for their family."

He says the department also works to have a strong presence in the community.

"We continue to develop that trust as best we can. When you call 911, we're there. It doesn't matter who you are," Sheriff Boudreaux said.

Neighboring agencies like the Visalia Police Department have their own gang and drug operations.

Some officers are also part of HIDTA, helping with the bigger picture.

"We do not want an issue to get out of hand in any way whether that is gang activity. We have resources and we use them for the problems that may be starting within the city," said Visalia Police Sgt. Art Alvarez.

The organization Pro-Youth was launched 20 years ago because of gang violence.

Dr. Marie Pinto, the CEO of Pro-Youth, says they see what happens through a different lens and focus on educating and providing afterschool programs for communities in Tulare County.

"It is a reality. It's in our schools and on our streets. It's something we need to be aware of and once we have the reality then we can plan on how we can best serve our students, their families and the community as a whole," Dr. Pinto explained.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office, Visalia Police Department, and several other law enforcement agencies work closely with schools to educate students about gangs and drugs.

A Community Meeting & Meal event will be held at Riverway Elementary School at 6 pm on Thursday, January 26.

The community is encouraged to gather for a meal and discuss ways to respond to the rise in violence.