Family of man fatally shot while camping speak out

A California family has suffered an unspeakable loss. Tristan Beaudette was camping at Malibu Creek State Park with his daughters — ages 2 and 4 — when he was fatally shot inside his tent at around 4:45 a.m. on Friday, June 22.

The little girls, who were sleeping next to their scientist dad, were not injured. Beaudette took the children for the night so his wife, Erica Wu, an obstetrician, could study for an exam.

“Words can not express the absolute devastation and sorrow we feel from the loss of someone so dear to our family,” Wu said in a statement to CNN on Monday, June 25. “You were admired by so many for your devotion to your wife and two daughters. We are all so fortunate to have known you for your short time on Earth. You were taken from us far too early, doing something you loved with the girls you adored.”

Beaudette’s family also spoke out about their grief in message shared on GoFundMe. “Tristan was out doing something he adored in life, being in the outdoors with his young girls. His wife, Erica, was preparing to take an exam in the next morning,” the post read. “This was their final step before taking well-deserved time off together as a family prior to their relocation to new jobs in the Bay Area. They were about to embark on a new chapter in their lives. And then it was all taken away, by a fatal gunshot in the middle of the night, in front of his two young daughters. Not a second goes by that we aren’t grappling with the senselessness of this crime.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that they are looking into other unsolved shootings in the area.

Per the paper, wildlife biologist James Rogers was shot in his arm while hiking in November 2016, and Melissa Tantangelo was camping in her car in January 2017 when she heard a loud noise. She went back to sleep but later discovered a bullet hole in the back hatch area of her vehicle. Officials have not found evidence connecting Beaudette’s death to the other shootings.

The campground, which served as the backdrop for the TV series M*A*S*H, will remain closed for a week as the investigation continues, CNN reported.