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After father's mysterious slaying at campsite, stories emerge of past shooting incidents

Stories of past shootings at CA park emerge
After dad's death at California campsite, stories emerge of past shootings 02:45

After a mysterious deadly shooting at a popular California state park early morning last Friday, CBS News has learned at least five other shooting incidents happened in the Malibu Creek State Park area within the last two years. Tristan Beaudette was killed in his tent while camping with his 2- and 4-year-old daughters. Investigators initially said the 35-year-old was shot in the torso. But the Los Angeles Times now reports Beaudette was shot in the head.

The sheriff is increasing patrols and is still asking for the public's help to track down the gunman, reports CBS News correspondent Carter Evans. Meanwhile, more people are coming forward saying they too were victims of shootings while camping in the area.

We spoke to James Rogers, who wondered if his case is connected. Rogers was sound asleep at a campsite in November 2016 when a stinging pain jolted him awake at 3 a.m.

"I tried to get up and just fell right through the hammock down to the ground," Rogers said. He said he had "no idea" what had happened.

It wasn't until pellets starting falling out of his right arm that Rogers knew he had been shot. He showed us the "birdshot" pellets.

"So they're a little bit smaller. Three millimeter diameter BBs. But it shoots a hundred of them," Rogers said.

Rogers' campsite was within about a mile of where Beaudette was shot and killed.

Investigators for Beaudette's death aren't saying from which direction the gunfire came. But just looking around the scene, there are plenty of places where a gunman could hide and escape unseen.

Investigators confirm there have been three other shootings in the area, two from 2017 and one that happened just four days before Beaudette was killed.

"I felt safe here. And so I don't feel that anymore," Rogers said.

Rogers described his case to California State Parks, but said they never followed up with an official report. Nearly two years later, he doesn't think investigators ever took him seriously.

"Obviously this latest incident is just such a tragedy," Rogers said.

"I mean, if that guy had known, if there had been a warning –" Evans started.

"He probably wouldn't have booked the campsite for his family," Rogers said.

California State Parks said they could not provide any further details about Rogers' case or any of the reported shootings citing an active investigation. There is no word on whether police are any closer to finding the gunman. In the meantime, the entire campground where Beaudette was shot is closed indefinitely.

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