MALIBU—The family of Tristan Beaudette, 35, who died of a gunshot to the head in Malibu Creek State Park has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles. Beaudette’s family claims that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was aware of the dangers surrounding the campsite and failed to notify the public.
Beaudette who was shot on June 22, 2018, at approximately 4:44 a.m. while camping with his two daughters. In the complaint filed, the three were sleeping inside a tent when they were awoken by the sound of gunfire. Beaudette’s daughters witnessed their father’s death.
According to the lawsuit, the LASD and other government agencies confirmed that they were aware of at least seven unsolved gunshot shootings in and around the Malibu Creek State Park region between the dates of November 2016 and June 22, 2018. The agencies withheld information of the previous seven shootings from the public.
The complaint argues that by withholding that information from the public about the earlier shootings, the LASD acted with “willful disregard” to Beaudette’s life. The suit states, “had decedent Tristan Beaudette known of the prior shootings, he would have never brought himself or his young daughters to camp, thereby putting his daughters and himself at severe risk, at Malibu Creek State Park.”
The family is seeking unspecified damages for this lawsuit, but sought $90 million in damages from Los Angeles County earlier this year.
The lawsuit cites LASD’s Detective James Royal who notified his superiors in 2017 about multiple shootings that took place around the area. Royal advised his superiors that the public be issued a warning, but that warning was never made. Four additional shootings transpired in the area and Royal advised his superiors again to notify the public. According to the suit, “the request was denied by Royal’s superior officers.”
After the death of Beaudette, Royal was instructed to attend a town hall meeting explaining the department’s position to the public. According to the suit, he was instructed to tell the public that the other shootings “were unrelated to the Beaudette murder.” Detective Royal filed suit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department earlier this year over the matter.
Anthony Rauda, 43, was charged in January 2019 with Beaudette’s murder. He is due back in court on August 14.