Suspect in Goshen mass killing had 'extensive' feud with slain family, records show
One of the men accused of gunning down six members of a Central California family had been embroiled in an “extensive history and feud” with the family and had once shot at one of them, according to police records obtained by The Times.
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2014, Tulare County sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting at the Wooden Shoe RV Park in Goshen. They found Eladio Parraz with his arm around his girlfriend, Crystal Hammonds, who was crying hysterically, a deputy wrote in a report.
Someone had fired shots at Hammonds before fleeing in a white sedan with tinted windows, Parraz told the deputies. Based on her description of the female driver, Parraz said he believed the woman was associated with someone he knew as “Nano,” according to another deputy's report.
Parraz told the deputy “his family and ‘Nano’s’ family had an extensive history and feud.” Police identified "Nano" as Angel Uriarte and determined he had shot at Hammonds that night in 2014. Uriarte eventually was sentenced to prison for the shooting.
Eight and a half years later, Eladio Parraz, 52, was the first person to be executed, authorities say, when Uriarte and another man, Noah Beard, entered the Parraz family's home the night of Jan. 16.
After gunning down Eladio Parraz, prosecutors allege, Uriarte and Beard killed Marcos Parraz, 19; Jennifer Analla, 50; and finally Rosa Parraz, 72, who was shot in the head while kneeling beside her bed. Alissa Parraz, 16, fled the home with her 10-month-old son, Nycholas, lifting the baby over a fence before scrambling over it herself. Beard pursued them, killing both with shots to the head, prosecutors allege.
Uriarte fired at federal agents who were trying to arrest him last week, authorities said. He underwent surgery after the shootout and is expected to survive. Beard was arrested without incident. Authorities now say Uriarte is known by the nickname "Nanu."
Uriarte and Beard have been charged with six counts of murder and a series of special allegations including multiple murders, and committing murders to further the activities of a criminal street gang.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said last week that his investigators had identified no motive for the killings, beyond the fact that members of the Parraz family were Sureños — street gang members subservient to the prison-based Mexican Mafia — while most gangs in the Visalia area identify as Norteño, meaning they answer to the Nuestra Familia, a prison gang that rivals the Mexican Mafia.
But records filed in Uriarte's 2014 case suggest he harbored a long-standing hatred of the Parraz family.
At the time of the earlier shooting, Eladio Parraz did not describe the ill will between his family and Uriarte's in detail and said he "did not involve himself with the feud any longer," wrote a deputy, Kyle Kalender, but he said "his nephew, Martin Parraz, and ‘Nano’ did not get along."
Eladio Parraz said Hammonds had been exiting his nephew’s car, a white Dodge Neon, when the shots rang out. “Eladio felt that whoever shot at Crystal was looking for Martin,” Kalender wrote.
Martin Parraz was not killed in last month’s shooting.
Crying and breathing heavily, Hammonds told Kalender she’d returned from the trailer park’s office, where she’d taken a shower, when a white car drove by. The driver, a Latina in her 20s, made eye contact with her, she said. The car continued about 30 feet down a dirt road, then stopped. The rear passenger’s side door opened.
Hammonds recalled seeing “a tall skinny male” standing next to the car and hearing gunshots. She ducked behind Martin Parraz’s car and felt rocks and dirt strike her legs and “something hit her in the face,” Kalender wrote.
Inspecting the Dodge Neon, Kalender noted two bullet holes in the rear fender and a bullet fragment beneath the muffler. Another deputy wrote in a report that he found a blue bandanna, which he considered “gang indicia,” on the driver’s seat, and a bindle containing 20 grams of methamphetamine in the glove box.
Deputies found bullet holes in a nearby trailer, whose horrified owner said her two young children had been asleep “only a few feet away from where the bullets had struck the trailer,” Deputy Kenneth Jones wrote.
That night, deputies stopped a white 2010 Dodge Avenger, which resembled the description of the suspects’ car, at an Arco in Goshen. Questioned at the gas station, Uriarte, then 26, said he was a “northern dropout” but still affiliated with the “Goshen Familia” gang, Kalender wrote.
Uriarte had “GF” tattooed beneath his left eye, as well as “G-Town” and “559” — a Central California area code — inked on his left arm, Kalender wrote. He was wearing a red shirt, red belt and shoes with red laces, according to the deputy’s report.
Another male stopped in the Dodge Avenger, Victor Lopez, was wearing a red hat and red Jordan sneakers. The 17-year-old said he “hangs out with northerners” but denied being in a gang, Kalender wrote.
Norteño gangs favor the color red, while Sureños generally identify with the color blue.
Law enforcement officials say a growing number of gangs in Central and Northern California — long considered the domain of the Nuestra Familia and the Norteño gangs under the organization’s control — are now identifying as Sureños, meaning they take orders from and pay “taxes” to the Mexican Mafia.
At the gas station, the woman who had been driving the car began to cry, wrote one of the deputies who responded to the shooting. Claiming she “had no idea this was going to happen,” Jasmine Reyes said she was afraid Uriarte would hear her talking to police, but agreed to be interviewed at the sheriff’s station, Jones wrote.
In an interview room, Reyes said she had been drinking beer with Uriarte, Lopez and a woman, Catrina Jimenez, when they decided to drive around Goshen. Because Jimenez was drunk, Reyes drove her Dodge Avenger.
Reyes said Uriarte told her to drive to the Wooden Shoe trailer park. As she was pulling slowly through the rows of trailers, Uriarte opened the door and stepped out. The next thing she heard was three gunshots, she said. Uriarte got back in the car and told her to leave.
On Highway 99, she yelled at Uriarte, “What the f— are you doing?” Uriate, she said, told her, “Don’t trip.” He said he had “funk” with the Parraz family, which Reyes said she understood to mean Uriarte and the family had “problems," the report says.
Interviewed at the sheriff's station, Jimenez, the owner of the Dodge Avenger, cursed at deputies and called the incident "bulls—," Jones wrote in his report. “Catrina went on to say the only reason we are making a big deal about this is because it has to do with the Parraz family.”
Jimenez said the Parraz family “gets away with everything and the sheriff’s office does nothing to prosecute them,” Jones wrote. She claimed they “got what they deserved” because a member of the Parraz family had run over her father with a car, leaving him permanently disabled, the report says.
Uriarte refused to be interviewed by police.
At the Arco, deputies did what is known as a “show-up,” bringing the four suspects to Hammonds and asking if she recognized them. Sitting in a patrol car, Hammonds began to shake and cry when shown Uriarte, a deputy wrote. “He’s the one that shot me,” she said, adding she was 100% sure.
Uriarte pleaded no contest to assaulting the woman with a firearm and admitted a gang enhancement, court records show. He served five years of a seven-year prison term.
Interviewed by a deputy probation officer in jail, Uriarte said he had spent his whole life in Tulare County. He was unemployed and living with his fiancee, her mother and his five children in a small home just off the 99 in Goshen at the time of his arrest in 2014.
The home — a shabby pink stucco — is one in a pocket of houses and trailers squeezed near the highway, a set of railroad tracks and a large industrial site. It is just two blocks from the house on Harvest Avenue where the Parraz family was slain last month.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.