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Scientist shot dead next to young daughters on camping trip in California

Scientist shot dead camping with young daughters
Credit: GoFundMe
Tristan Beaudette of Irvine, California, was fatally shot in front of his two daughters while camping in Malibu Creek State Park.

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. — Authorities have identified a man shot dead early Friday while camping with his two young daughters near Calabasas, California.

The father, identified Saturday as Tristan Beaudette, 35, of Irvine, died after suffering a gunshot wound to his upper torso.

The shooting was reported at 4:44 a.m. at Malibu Creek State Park.

Beaudette was camping with his two girls, ages 2 and 4, when he was shot at least once in the upper torso, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Moore said. The children were not hurt in the shooting.

Beaudette was a scientist who worked for a pharmaceutical company, according to CBS Los Angeles. He had taken his daughters on the camping trip while his wife Erica, a doctor, studied for an exam. The two were planning to relocate to the Bay Area for new jobs, according to a GoFundMe set up for the family. 

“The theory we are working with is he was shot inside the tent” in the area that is well-traveled by hikers and day trekkers, Moore said. The children were inside the tent, as well, Moore said.

“We are working this as a homicide at this point,” Moore said. “We are gathering evidence. ... It will take some time.”

The man’s family members were taken to the sheriff’s Lost Hills station to be interviewed by investigators. Detectives assisted by deputies and forensic technicians scoured the area in and around the family’s tent Friday. Sheriff’s scent dogs were brought in, as well, and the campground was closed to the public.

No arrests have been made and detectives provided no information about a suspect or motive. The investigation is ongoing.

Malibu Creek State Park is four miles south of Highway 101 and is known to millions around the world as the backdrop for the TV series “MASH,” as well as the movies “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and the original “Planet of the Apes.” Its 15 miles of hiking trails set among 8,200 scenic acres are a well-known weekend destination spot.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau at 323-890-5500. Information can also be given anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Contributing: Staff writer Jeremy Childs, The Associated Press and Tribune Content Agency 

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