MALIBU — A lawsuit filed against Los Angeles County, involving former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Tui Wright, was settled for an undisclosed amount. Wright had sued his supervisors for retaliation on June 6, 2019, following shootings he reported around Malibu Creek State Park.
According to Sergeant Wright, he was punished for speaking out about the shootings when his supervisors within the LASD wanted to silence him and prevent the crimes from being disclosed.
The suit filed by Wright mentioned Lieutenant James Royal, who told his bosses of several shootings, four of which occurred just days before the murder of Tristan Beaudette, 35, at Malibu Creek State Park on June 22, 2018. The father of two was shot and killed while sleeping in a tent with his daughters, aged two and four, at the time. The children survived the shooting unharmed.
Sergeant Wright informed Lieutenant Royal that all of these crimes could have been committed by the same person in a serial shooting spree. The prior shootings transpired on November 3, 2016 in Tapia Park, along with two more on November 9, 2016 and January 7, 2017 in Malibu Creek State Park.
Prior to Sergeant Wright, Lieutenant Royal filed a separate complaint, when a parolee named Anthony Rauda, 43, allegedly opened fire on several unsuspecting campers in the state park, leading to retaliation for attempting to warn the public of the crimes.
The lawsuit later filed by Sergeant Wright alleged that Lieutenant Royal was told by his supervisors to state that the official position of the LASD was that all of the prior shootings were completely unrelated to the murder of Tristan Beaudette.
Wright and Royal, both veteran officers for several decades, stated that they suffered similar types of retaliation from the LASD, which consisted of being transferred to other stations, and having their reputations ruined, as they were essentially seen as whistle blowers.
Rauda was arrested in October 2018 and charged four months later for multiple shootings, as well as the murder of Beaudette, in Malibu Creek State Park. He pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of attempted murder.