Wed. Feb 1st, 2023


The person suspected of killing 4 individuals at a California mushroom farm and three others at a close-by web site Monday had authorized possession of a semi-automatic weapon that was registered to him, a sheriff mentioned.

The suspect, Chunli Zhao, 66, was not recognized to native legislation enforcement earlier than the bloodbath and had proven no purple flags so far as the sheriff’s workplace was conscious, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus informed CNN on Tuesday morning.

“There was nothing that may have sort of elevated or raised us to have any concern with him presently, previous to this incident,” the sheriff mentioned, including it was a case by which somebody “snaps,” and “harmless individuals have been killed.”

Zhao, who was arrested Monday, is anticipated in court docket for an arraignment Wednesday afternoon, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Legal professional Sean Gallagher mentioned.

Officers on Monday afternoon discovered 4 individuals lifeless and one wounded on the mushroom farm and, moments later, discovered three extra individuals lifeless at a separate web site about 2 miles away, officers mentioned.

The assault was a “office violence incident,” Corpus mentioned, including Zhao focused particular individuals and, although he had the chance to harm others, “he went after and pursued” sure people.

The suspect was a “coworker or former coworker” of the victims at every capturing web site, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

Many questions are nonetheless unanswered in regards to the assault, together with what might have motivated the capturing, who the victims have been and why they have been focused.

Right here’s what we all know in regards to the suspected gunman.

Although authorities knew of no “previous elements” that may have prompt Zhao would perform the assault, county officers mentioned, it wasn’t the primary time he was accused of violence towards somebody he labored with, court docket data obtained by CNN present.

Zhao was topic to a short lived restraining order after a former coworker and roommate accused him of attacking and threatening him in 2013.

Yingjiu Wang, who labored with Zhao at a restaurant and lived with him in a San Jose residence, wrote in a court docket declaration that Zhao’s violent conduct began after Zhao give up that job in March 2013.

Early within the morning two days later, Zhao got here into Wang’s room and requested for his wage. When Wang informed him to select it up on the restaurant, Zhao mentioned he would kill Wang, then “took a pillow and began to cowl my face and suffocate me,” Wang wrote.

“Whereas I couldn’t (breathe), I used all my would possibly inside the few seconds to push him away with my blanket,” Wang wrote. He mentioned he referred to as for assist and one other roommate got here to the door, however Zhao had allegedly locked it. The 2 males ended up wrestling on Wang’s mattress earlier than Zhao calmed down, in keeping with Wang.

Two days later, he wrote, Zhao threatened him once more, saying “he can use a knife to chop my head if he can’t come again to work.” Wang had no management over Zhao’s work standing on the restaurant, he wrote.

A decide issued a short lived restraining order towards Zhao, which prevented him from getting too near Wang and banned him from proudly owning or shopping for a gun, in keeping with the court docket paperwork. The restraining order expired in July 2013. An lawyer for Zhao within the 2013 grievance didn’t reply to requests for remark and Wang couldn’t be reached for remark.

The incident was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Zhao lived on the first property, the place 4 victims have been killed, for about seven years, in keeping with California Terra Backyard spokesperson David Oates. The location, previously often known as Mountain Mushroom Farm, was acquired by the corporate California Terra Backyard in March 2022, Oates mentioned.

There are a number of cellular properties and trailers for workers on the property, which is the place the suspect lived, Oates added.

Zhao was one in every of about 35 workers working on the farm, the spokesperson mentioned, including commonplace background checks for all workers revealed “nothing to point something like this was even a chance.”

An worker who didn’t need to be named informed CNN he had recognized the suspect for about six years and had thought-about him to be pleasant and a “good man.” The 2 have been coworkers on the farm and had each been working Monday, the worker mentioned.

The worker took cowl when the capturing started Monday, and when the gunfire stopped, he noticed the suspect drive away from the scene on a forklift, he mentioned.

Zhao, who authorities consider acted alone, was arrested roughly two hours after authorities obtained the primary studies of a capturing.

Deputies have been dispatched somewhat after 2:20 p.m. At roughly 4:40 p.m., the suspect was taken into custody after authorities discovered him in his automobile on the parking zone of the Sheriff’s Workplace Half Moon Bay Police Substation, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned in a information launch.

A weapon was additionally present in his automotive, the discharge added.

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