A 35-year-old California man was shot in the head and killed while camping with his daughters in Malibu Creek State Park and police are investigating the mysterious case as a homicide. No suspects have been identified. Tristan Beaudette was shot while in a tent next to his two young daughters early in the morning of June 22, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release.
“Words cannot express the absolute devastation and sorrow we feel from the loss of someone so dear to our family. Tristan, you were such an amazing father, husband, son, and brother. 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. You will be so dearly missed. May you rest in peace,” his family wrote in a post on a Facebook page belonging to his wife, Dr. Erica Wu Beaudette.
“Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500,” Deputy Joana Warren wrote in the press release. “If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the ‘P3 Tips’ Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.”
Here’s what you need to know about Tristan Beaudette and the shooting:
1. Police Are Investigating Whether Beaudette’s Death Is Connected to Other Shootings at Malibu Creek State Park
Tristan Beaudette was found bleeding from a head wound inside a tent with his young daughters after police responded to a report of shots fired, KCAL-TV reports. The children, ages 2 and 4, were not injured, police said.
“The theory we are working with is he was shot inside the tent,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Rodney Moore told the Los Angeles Times. “The children were inside the tent, too. We are working this as a homicide at this point. We are gathering evidence. … It will take some time.”
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the shooting happened on Friday, June 22, 2018, at 4:44 a.m. in the 1900 block of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, in the Malibu Creek State Park. “Homicide detectives are confirming that at the time of the shooting, the victim was inside the tent with his two children.” The LASD added, “Homicide detectives have learned that deputies from Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station responded to the location regarding a shots fired call. When deputies arrived they located the male adult victim who had sustained at least one gunshot wound to his upper torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
The LASD said there is no suspect information to release and there is no known motive for the crime. The investigation is ongoing.
“It’s pretty secluded,” a woman who was camping near Beaudette’s family told KCAL. “It’s pretty spread out. It’s pretty quiet. I wouldn’t expect something [like this] to happen.”
There are 63 campsites at the Malibu Creek State Park area where the shooting occurred and they are believed to have been occupied at the time of Beaudette’s death. The campsites will be closed this week while police investigate the shooting, authorities said. “Campgrounds at Malibu Creek State Park were closed Friday due to an ongoing investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. To ensure public safety, all camping reservations for the park have been cancelled through June 28,” California State Parks said on Twitter.
A woman who was camping at Malibu Creek State Park in January 2017 told KCAL-TV that she heard a loud noise about 5 a.m. and later found a bullet in the back of her car. She posted about the incident on Facebook and said she reported it to the sheriff’s department. But the LASD said in its press release, “Homicide detectives are aware there have been other shootings near the location in the past, however there is no evidence that suggests this incident is related to any prior shootings near the location.”
Since Beaudette’s shooting deth, others have come forward with information about shooting incidents at the state park, CNN reports. Investigators are now looking into whether seven shootings are connected to Beaudette’s death. Those shootings date back to November 2016. But police still say there is no evidence the incidents are connected, though they aren’t ruling it out.
Detectives say the shootings occurred November 3 and November 9 in 2016, January 7, June 6, July 22 and July 30 in 2017 and on June 18, 2018. None of those shootings were fatal.
“There were a number of incidents but they were over an extended period of time. The pattern at this point certainly is not clear, if there is one at all,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said this week, according to the Ventura County Star.
2. He Was Camping With His Daughters, Brother-in-Law & Nephews While His Wife, an OB/GYN, Studied for an Exam
Pamela Wu, Beaudette’s sister-in-law, wrote on Facebook that Beaudette was camping with her husband, Scott McCurdy, and four children. “Tristan Beaudette and Scott McCurdy arrived at Malibu State Creek Park early afternoon on Thursday, 6/21, with our kids (our two little boys and Tristan’s and Erica Wu’s two little girls). The kids had their bikes and sand toys, were running around and probably making a ton of noise – you could not have missed them. If you live in or around Malibu State Creek Park or were in the area on 6/21 or 6/22 and think you might have information, please call the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office at: 323-890-5500,” she wrote.
Beaudette’s wife, Dr. Erica Wu, was not camping with her husband and daughters. She is an OB/GYN at the UC Irvine Medical Center. According to KCAL-TV, Beaudette took his daughters on the camping trip so Erica could study for an exam.
His family said in a statement that Beaudette, was a”supportive and generous husband,” and a scientist who loved cooking and beers, especially microbrews. “His selfless devotion to his children came naturally, and Tristan found true in all aspects of being a father. The grief and trauma this loss has caused our close-knit family is indescribable,” the family said.
3. Beaudette Worked as a Senior Scientist at Allergan, Where He Worked on Pharmaceutical Drug Product Development
Beaudette has worked Allergan, an Irish pharmaceutical company, at its offices in Irvine, California, since 2010, according to his Linkedin page. He began his career there as a USC/Allergan Postdoctoral Fellow, working on drug delivery systems. From August 2011 to March 2015 he was a scientist at Allergan, supporting the formulation and manufacturing process for sustained release combination products, he wrote on Linkedin.
He was promoted to senior scientist in March 2015, and he, was “leading cross-functional CMC teams supporting development of several late stage sustained release combination product dosage forms, including intra-ocular biodegradable implants and non-degradable implants.” He also wrote that he was, “Leading manufacturing process tech. transfer activities to support Phase 3 clinical trials, registration and commercialization, leading formulation and manufacturing process development for sustained release combination products, actively contributing to the development of drug-device combination products and design control activities and contributing to technical CMC assessments as part of late stage product due diligence activities.”
Beaudette was also named an associate director by Allergan in March 2018. On Linkedin, he wrote, “Skilled technical leader with over 7 years of industry experience in late stage pharmaceutical drug product development. Multidisciplinary scientific background with expertise in formulation, materials science, polymer chemistry, and pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies including extrusion, molding, and compression. Experienced in formulation and manufacturing process development of solid dosage forms, with broad expertise in sustained release drug delivery systems (bio-erodible and non-degradable) and combination products. Successful track record managing cross functional Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) teams to meet global project goals and milestones.”
He had recently left Allergan to start a new job, his family and the company said. It is not clear where he was going to be working.
“It is rare that we lose a friend and colleague, especially in an event that was senseless and difficult to understand,” company spokeswoman Amy Long said in a statement to the New York Post. “Tristan will be remembered as a talented scientist who was admired by all who knew him and a meaningful contributor to our company’s research and development efforts. Please know that we are working closely with Tristan’s wife and family to provide them with the support they need during this very challenging time.”
4. He Earned His Ph.D at UC Berkeley, Where He Studied & Worked on Research Papers About Vaccines
Tristan Beaudette was originally from Fresno. According to the Fresno Bee, Beaudette was a valedictorian at Edison High School in 2000. He graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2005 with a degree in chemistry, according to his Linkedin profile. Beaudette spent a year as a summer research intern at IBM. He then began pursuing his Ph.D in chemistry at UC Berkeley in 2005, completing his studies in 2010. He wrote a thesis entitled, “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Acid-Degradable Polymeric Materials for Protein-Based Vaccine,” a research project, ” focused on the design, synthesis, characterization, and implementation of acid-sensitive polymeric microparticulate and nanoparticulate vehicles for vaccine and drug delivery applications,” he wrote on Linkedin.
While at Berkeley, Beaudette was a graduate student instructor and worked on several research projects that were focused on pharmaceuticals and vaccines, according to his Linkedin profile. He wrote that he, “Synthesized polyacrylamide, polyacetal, and polysaccharide-based acid-degradable microparticles and used in vitro and in vivo techniques to characterize their ability to elicit cell-mediated immune responses for applications in vaccines and cancer therapy.” He also wrote, he, “Developed methods for chemoselective particle functionalization for use in targeted drug and gene delivery.” And, “Led a multidisciplinary team of chemists, immunologists, and biologists in an NIH-funded collaborative project involving the design of novel protein-based vaccine formulations,” while also composing, “multiple scientific research proposals. Presented and published graduate work at national conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.”
You can read his publications here.
5. He & His Wife Were Preparing to Move to the Bay Area for New Jobs, His Family Says in a GoFundMe Campaign
Tristan Beaudette and his wife, Dr. Erica Wu, were planning to move to the Bay Area for new jobs, his family said on the GoFundMe page to help Wu and his daughters. The fundraiser had received more than $80,000 in donations by Monday afternoon.
“Tristan was out doing something he adored in life, being in the outdoors with his two young girls. His wife Erica was preparing to take an exam the next morning,” the family wrote. “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 gun shot 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.”
Tributes and thoughts about Beaudette poured in on Facebook over the weekend as his friends and family mourned their loss.
“My heart is completely broken sharing this because so much of me wishes it weren’t true. Tristan was the greatest friend you could ever ask for, a talented scientist, an amazing father to his beautiful daughters and a devoted loving husband,” Daniel Poulsen wrote on Facebook. “He was the most genuine kind person you’d ever meet. I treasure every memory of the annual hiking trips we went on together with the guys and it will never be the same without you. I will never forget you. Such a senseless terrible loss that no words can express. Sarah and I send our deepest sympathy, love and support to you Erica, the girls and your whole family.”
Jordana Kahn, who taught one of Beaudette’s daughter’s during the past school year, wrote, “My heart is broken. This couldn’t have happened to a sweeter family. I was lucky enough to become close with their family this past year, teaching their youngest Evie. The sweetest family, with the best little girls who loved their daddy more than anything.”
His sister-in-law, Pamela Wu, wrote, “Tristan Beaudette, we can’t imagine a world that no longer has you in it. You are everything to Erica Wu, Clara and Evie and our hearts are broken. You will truly be missed and forever remembered.”
Scott McCurdy, his brother-in-law, wrote on Facebook, “Our brother was lost doing something he loved. My heart is broken as I reach out to you all and share this news. He loved the outdoors and he adored his family. He was a special person and one of my best friends. He will be dearly missed and he will never be forgotten. We love you Tristan. We love you Beaudettes.”