Authorities said Anthony Rauda is a reclusive criminal who went on a more than two-year crime rampage in Southern California that peaked with the fatal shooting of a man who was camping with his children.
Rauda, a 42-year-old parolee, faces a number of charges, including one count of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
L.A. County sheriff’s officials accuse him of opening fire on campers and motorists in the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Calabasas. The shootings, which date back more than two years, include the June 2018 slaying of Tristan Beaudette.
A 35-year-old chemist from Irvine, Beaudette and his two daughters, then 2 and 4 years old, were camping at Malibu Creek State Park when he was fatally shot in the head as they slept in their tent. His two daughters survived.
His death cast a spotlight on the 8,200-acre recreation area, which is 25 miles from Los Angeles. Before his death, multiple other shootings were reported in the area, prompting authorities to look for possible links.
The first big break, authorities said, came in October, when Rauda was taken into custody while walking along a ridge with a rifle and a backpack. At the time, he was considered a suspect in a string of unsolved burglaries.
Rauda, who reportedly has a criminal record for firearms and explosives violations, was jailed for being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the Los Angeles Times, forensic testing on the rifle Rauda was carrying at the time of his arrest linked him to several of the shootings.
In addition to Beaudette’s slaying, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Rauda is facing two counts of attempted murder in connection with Beaudette’s daughters, who were sleeping nearby when their father was shot.
The other charges Rauda faces are in relation to five burglaries, the shooting of five vehicles from November 2016 to June 2018 and the shooting of a wildlife biologist in November 2016.
Rauda, who was restrained to a wheelchair when he appeared in court on Monday, did not enter a plea. He was ordered held in lieu of a $1.1 million bond. He will appear in court again on Jan. 22.
If convicted as charged, Rauda faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.