HALF MOON BAY — The 66-year-old gunman who went on a killing spree at two mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay had legally bought his firearm, had no prior contact with native legislation enforcement, and was an worker of one of many farms he focused.
At a information convention Tuesday, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus stated six males and two girls have been allegedly shot by Half Moon Bay resident Chunli Zhao.
Scene of mass capturing at a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay, Calif., January 23, 2023.
Officers later confirmed that 5 of the boys and each girls have been killed. A male sufferer underwent surgical procedure at Stanford and is in secure situation.
Additionally they confirmed that Zhao was an worker on the formerly-named Mountain Mushroom Farm, now in operation as California Terra Backyard, the place 4 individuals have been shot lifeless. He had beforehand labored at Harmony Farms, the second capturing location, the place authorities stated he killed three individuals.
Corpus stated that the one identified connection between the shooter and his victims is that “they might have been coworkers.”
“All of the proof we now have factors to this being office violence,” Corpus instructed reporters. “The Mountain Mushroom Farm, the primary location, was the place the suspect was employed.”
“We stay shocked and grief-stricken over the mindless lack of 4 of our buddies and long-time workers, and we pray for the workforce member that is still in vital situation,” stated California Terra Backyard in a press release.
Dave Oates, a spokesman for California Terra Backyard, confirmed to KPIX late Tuesday that Zhao as soon as lived on the Mountain Mushroom Farm web site for seven years and that California Terra Backyard took over operations in March 2022.
Oates stated there have been three cellular properties and 6 trailers for workers on the premises. Most of the individuals who labored within the mushroom farms lived on web site with their households in trailers and among the kids reportedly witnessed the violence. These households have been quickly relocated to space motels becoming a member of different farmworker households displaced by latest floods within the space.
Corpus stated the coroner’s workplace was going through the tough problem of notifying the households of the seven staff who have been killed as a result of many have been migrants.
CALIFORNIA MASS SHOOTINGS
Zhao was booked into the San Mateo County Maguire Correctional Facility on seven counts of first-degree homicide and one depend of tried homicide. Every depend additionally included an enhancement of utilizing a firearm in the midst of the alleged crimes.
He was set to be formally charged at a Wednesday arraignment.
“Zhao had no identified prison historical past in San Mateo County and there have been no previous elements identified to legislation enforcement that might have recommended Zhao was about to hold out this heinous act of violence,” officers stated in a information launch.
The incident started with San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies being dispatched at 2:22 p.m. to the Mountain Mushroom Farm on San Mateo Highway close to Freeway 1 in unincorporated San Mateo County on a report of a capturing with a number of victims.
Upon arrival, deputies situated 4 victims deceased with gunshot wounds. A fifth sufferer, additionally affected by gunshot wounds, was transported to Stanford Medical Heart with life-threatening accidents.
Deputies then raced to the second capturing scene — this one at one other mushroom farm situated at 2125 Cabrillo Freeway S./Freeway 1. Three different deceased victims have been discovered there a short while later, the sheriff’s workplace stated.
Whereas it was not clear but how the 2 companies is perhaps related, the suspect was described as a disgruntled worker who labored at one of many farms.
A view from above the mushroom farm confirmed deputies and legislation enforcement personnel gathered outdoors one in every of many greenhouses on the web site. What seemed to be a physique underneath a yellow tarp was seen on the entrance to one of many greenhouses.
Officers take a person recognized as Chunli Zhao into custody after he drove to a sheriff’s workplace media staging space following a number of shootings in Half Moon Bay that left at the very least seven individuals lifeless, January 23, 2023.
Throughout the police response to the capturing, the sheriff’s workplace stated a media staging could be situated at a substation at 537 Kelly Ave. At round 4:40 p.m., a person sporting a white baseball-style cap was seen being led away from the substation in handcuffs.
In keeping with the sheriff’s workplace, Zhao drove himself to the substation situated between the 2 companies and surrendered to deputies. The weapon — a semiautomated handgun — used within the shootings was present in Zhao’s automobile.
“It was a legally bought firearm and owned,” San Mateo Sheriff’s Capt. Eamonn Allen instructed reporters.
A household reunification heart has been arrange on the IDES Corridor at 735 Essential St. in Half Moon Bay. The corridor can also be offering shelter to these households who stay in residences which are too near the crime scenes to permit them to return residence.
“This type of capturing is horrific,” Corpus stated at a press convention Monday night. “It is a tragedy we hear about far too usually, however right this moment it is hit residence right here in San Mateo County.”
Uncooked: San Mateo County Sheriff gives replace on Half Moon Bay mass capturing
Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor Joaquin Jimenez stated the victims included Chinese language and Latino farmworkers.
Whereas no info had been offered by the San Mateo County coroner’s workplace relating to the identities of the individuals who misplaced their lives within the capturing as of late Monday night time, one lady confirmed she misplaced her companion within the lethal incident.
Alicia Ortega instructed KPIX her companion labored as a supervisor on the mushroom farm at 2125 Cabrillo Freeway close to Freeway 1.
Her worst nightmare grew to become a actuality Monday night. Ortega confirmed that her companion, Martin Martinez, was one of many individuals fatally shot contained in the mushroom farm. His coworker instructed her he witnessed the crime.
“The morning, when he go to work, is the final time,” Ortega stated of the final phrases she spoke with him.
Monday’s capturing in Half Moon Bay is the worst mass capturing within the Bay Space for the reason that VTA capturing in San Jose in Might of 2021.
No motive has been introduced within the lethal capturing. The incident comes solely two days after a mass capturing in Monterey Park after a Lunar New Yr Competition Saturday night time that left 10 individuals lifeless and injured 10 extra individuals.
On Sunday, round 11 a.m., Torrance police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies surrounded a white van described as a automobile of curiosity at Hawthorne and Sepulveda Boulevards close to Del Amo Mall, about 30 miles south of Monterey Park.
The sheriff’s division stated the suspect shot and killed himself contained in the van. Detectives discovered proof within the van, together with a gun, linking him to each places. No additional suspects have been sought.
Investigators recognized the shooter as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran.
On Monday, an eleventh particular person died from “their in depth accidents,” in response to an announcement from LAC+USC Medical Heart.
Nestled alongside the Northern California shoreline, Half Moon Bay is a quiet agricultural bed room neighborhood most well-known for its annual pumpkin pageant and the Mavericks large wave browsing competitors.
“This is a gigantic tragedy. When any of us consider Half Moon Bay, it is all the time a cheerful, nice thought. It is the house of the pumpkin pageant. It is the Mavericks browsing competitors. However right this moment it is homicide. Seven treasured lives misplaced,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) stated in an interview with CBS Information Bay Space. “We do not perceive why. We’re grateful the sheriff’s division has the suspect in custody. However that is the shattering of the lives of seven households and it is my understanding that one particular person has been taken to Stanford Medical Heart for therapy and I perceive it is severe.”
Eshoo additionally stated officers are bringing in Chinese language and Spanish interpreters to speak with the households of the victims in Half Moon Bay.