UC Berkeley grad heading to Bay Area shot dead next to young daughters in Malibu

- A UC Berkeley graduate who was planning to move to the Bay Area with his two daughters and wife was shot dead Friday in his tent while camping at Malibu Creek State Park.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had not  released the name of any suspect on Monday in the shooting death of 35 year old Tristan Beaudette. He was found with at least one gunshot wound to his upper torso at 4:45 a.m. on the 1900 block of Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, the sheriff said in a news release. His two daughters, ages 2 and 4, were inside the tent at the time but were physically unharmed. 

“The theory we are working with is he was shot inside the tent,” Lt. Rodney Moore told the Times. “The children were inside the tent, too.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told the Los Angeles Times that said detectives are examining whether the killing is connected to prior shootings at the state park. Officials stressed that they have not found any evidence linking Beaudette’s death to the other shootings.

The Irvine resident had been camping with other family members, but none of them was injured, according to media reports.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Beaudette graduated with a doctorate in chemistry from UC Berkeley in 2010 and had worked since then for Allergan, an Irvine pharmaceutical company. But what he loved most was “being in the outdoors with his two young girls,” his family said.

Beaudette’s family told the Times he was a “scientist who loved cooking and microbrews.” They said he was married to his high school sweetheart and was “happiest out in nature.

In a GoFundMe account started for Beaudette’s family over the weekend, his loved ones mourned the loss of a man they described as an “amazing father, husband, son and brother.”

His wife, Erica Wu, had been studying for an exam scheduled for the next morning, and the couple was preparing to move to the Bay Area for new jobs, the GoFundMe stated. 

“This was their final step before taking well-deserved time off together as a family prior to their relocation. … They were about to embark on a new chapter in their lives,” the Beaudette and Wu families said in a statement. “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.”

In less than two days, the GoFundMe account has raised more than $88,000.

Out of an abundance of caution, state park officials announced Friday that all 63 of the campsites at Malibu Creek State Park would be closed for at least the next week.

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