CALABASAS, Calif. — A drug company chemist who was shot to death while camping with his two young daughters was planning to leave Southern California for a new life in the San Francisco Bay Area, his family said.
Tristan Beaudette, 35, of Irvine, was shot in the chest before dawn Friday as he slept in a tent at Malibu Creek State Park with his daughters, ages 2 and 4. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released Beaudette’s name on Monday.
There have been several shootings in the same general area in recent years but investigators said they had no evidence that they were connected to Beaudette’s death and no suspects have been identified in his killing, sheriff’s officials said.
Beaudette had taken his daughters camping while his wife, Erica Wu, studied for an examination scheduled for the next morning, according to a GoFundMe page started for the family.
“Tristan was out doing something he adored in life, being in the outdoors with his two young girls,” according to the web page.
His wife is an obstetrician.
“This was their final step before taking well-deserved time off together as a family prior to their relocation to new jobs in the Bay Area. They were about to embark on a new chapter in their lives,” according to the page, which didn’t provide other details.
Beaudette held a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and worked for the Irvine-based drug company Allergan, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had expertise in drug delivery systems.
He was “a talented scientist who was admired by all who knew him,” according to an Allergan statement that called the killing senseless.
However, Beaudette was “happiest out in nature, and spent every chance he could hiking, biking, snowboarding and camping with his family,” his family said in a statement to The Washington Post.
“Words cannot express the absolute devastation and sorrow we feel from the loss of someone so dear to our family,” said the statement on the GoFundMe page.
The park in the Santa Monica Mountains was a set for the 1970s television show “MASH.”
Investigators have not released a possible motive for the killing.
James Rogers, a wildlife biologist, was injured by a shotgun in November 2016 while sleeping in a hammock in Tapia Park, just south of Malibu Creek State Park.
Rogers said he heard a loud bang and felt a burning sensation in his arm but saw no one. He had to have surgery to remove pellets, he told the Los Angeles Times.
“I suspect I was shot at close range,” he said.
In January 2017, Meliss Tatangelo was camping in her Honda when she heard a loud noise and later found a slug from a shotgun round in the back of her car where she had been sleeping, the Times reported.
Tatangelo said in a Facebook post that she believes the gun was fired from about 20 feet away into the car where she was sleeping with her boyfriend.
“If the bullet was fired even an inch higher, it would have hit me,” she wrote.