More gunfire near Malibu Creek State Park.
Deputies from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station responded to a call about a gunshot that was heard in the vicinity of the park on the night of July 12.
Sergeant J. Covarrubias said the caller reported hearing a single gunshot.
“At approximately 11:09 (p.m.) we did get one single call from someone reporting one single gunshot heard,” Covarrubias said. “We had a sergeant and a team standing by in the immediate area and nothing was located.”
A resident of Monte Nido, a neighborhood off of Las Virgenes Road near Calabasas, posted on a social media website around 11:40 p.m. that deputies had shut down Las Virgenes Road.
“The sheriffs are turning traffic around at Piuma and Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road highly armed, including search dogs. Someone had called in regarding shooter. That is the helicopter activity you can now hear. Shut and lock doors and windows, neighbors,” the post said.
Law enforcement has stepped up their response to reports of gunfire in and around Malibu Creek State Park after the murder of 35-year-old Tristan Beaudette in the early morning on June 22. Beaudette, who lived in Irvine, was camping with his daughters, ages 2 and 4, at Malibu Creek State Park Campground when he was shot in the head. The children were unharmed.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the crime and have not said if they have any suspects. They reportedly have no motive, either. The Malibu City Council is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
In the wake of the shooting, several visitors to the park reported they too had been shot at or had heard gunfire in the park. One incident in 2016 sent a man to the hospital after he was hit in the arm with birdshot while he slept in nearby Tapia State Park. On June 28 the sheriff’s department issued a press release stating detectives were investigating six previous reports of gunfire in or around the park. The first report of gunfire was in November, 2016 and the last was on June 18, four days before Beaudette’s death.
The July 12 incident makes seven documented reports of gunfire. Some locals have criticized the sheriff’s department for not publicizing the shootings until after Beaudette was murdered.
Anthony Hoffman, a state park superintendent, said it’s not uncommon to hear gunshots in parks.
“Rural areas get gunshots. Some people from the city know that they can’t shoot in the city go, ‘Oh, this doesn’t look like city,’ and they stop on a wide turnout, and shoot or they hike down the trail and shoot,” Hoffman said. “It’s usually what we call ‘plinkers.’ They’re not really hunting, they’re not trying to kill anything. It’s not uncommon for us to get reports of gunshots that usually end up being plinkers, and even most of the time we show up we don’t find them. Maybe we find a few broken bottles, it’s not uncommon.”
The Malibu Creek State Park closed its campground following Beaudette’s death and officials say it will remain closed until further notice.