Zhao Chunli Half Moon Bay mass shooting gunman shoots dead 7 farm workers dead and injures another as California authorities seek motive of ‘disgruntled worker’.
A 67 year old ‘disgruntled worker’ turned himself into authorities after going on a mass shooting spree in North California which saw him fatally gun down seven former fellow farm workers along with injuring another.
The attacks took place in the coastal city of Half Moon Bay. The victims were all Chinese-American farm workers.
Zhao Chunli, 67, was arrested after driving to a police station.
The blood letting comes as the state mourns the shooting death of 11 at Monterey Park – about six hours south east of Half Moon Bay – during Lunar New Year celebrations.
And just over a week ago, six people including a teenage mother and baby were killed at a property in Goshen, central California.
A gunman killed seven people in two locations in Half Moon Bay, California, on Monday, shaking a state still mourning another mass shooting just days before. The police arrested a 67-year-old suspect.https://t.co/YGV6BgZeqg pic.twitter.com/nYidfnznc0
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 24, 2023
Gunman drives to police station and waits in car park
Local media told of the mass shootings taking place at two farms around the Half Moon Bay community within a ten minute drive of each other.
Four victims of the shooting attack were discovered at a mushroom farm while the other three were later found at a nearby trucking business. An eighth victim was being treated in hospital and was in a critical condition.
After carrying out the killings, the suspect drove to a local police station where he parked his vehicle and surrendered himself to authorities.
Video images showed Zhao Chunli being pinned to the ground and arrested by police.
He was found with a semi-automatic pistol that may have been used in the attack, and was co-operating with police, Sheriff Corpus said.
San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine told AP that the attacks were committed by a ‘disgruntled worker’.
‘We are sickened by today’s tragedy in Half Moon Bay,’ Mr Pine said in a statement. ‘There are simply too many guns in this country and there has to be a change.
7 people are dead and a suspect is in custody after shootings near Half Moon Bay, California. https://t.co/ajmBISkBYO
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 24, 2023
No known motive
‘The scourge of gun violence has sadly hit home. We have not even had time to grieve for those lost in the terrible shooting in Monterey Park. Gun violence must stop. The State of California has among the strictest gun laws in the United States, which we have strengthened through local action here, but more must be done. The status quo cannot be tolerated.’
Some of the victims in Monday’s shooting were gunned down in front of horrified children at the two scenes separated by several miles on the outskirts of the small city along the California’s coast, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, citing San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus.
Investigators were working with the district attorney to interview Zhao, of Half Moon Bay, who was cooperating with authorities after he was apprehended some two hours after gunfire was reported around 2:22 p.m., Monday, the sheriff said.
‘We do know is that some of the victims were Chinese, that the perpetrator was Chinese and that this was an agricultural community – they were agricultural workers,’ Half Moon Bay Mayor Deborah Penrose told CNN on Tuesday.
The mushroom farm’s owners had no past knowledge of the gunman or his motive, they said in a statement.
‘We are shook and very eager to gain more information from the authorities and their investigations,’ Concord Farms said in the statement to CNN. ‘Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the Chinese American community – from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Park.’
There have been 38 mass shootings in America this year already, and we haven’t even reached the end of January. https://t.co/sPLxo26aGm
— Nick Bryant (@NickBryantNY) January 24, 2023
38 mass shootings year to date in the US
‘This kind of shooting is horrific,’ Corpus said Monday night as she detailed the shootings at two sites in the Half Moon Bay community of some 11,000. ‘It’s a tragedy that we hear about far too often but today has hit home here in San Mateo County.’
Zhao is believed to have acted alone and was ‘fully cooperating’ with investigators after his arrest, Corpus said
Just hours after the attack, seven were injured and one person was killed in a shooting in Oakland – about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Half Moon Bay. The incident represents the 3rd mass shooting in California in three days.
The Half Moon Bay attack is the 37th mass shooting in just 24 days, according to Gun Violence Archive.
Authorities have yet to indicate what may have motivated the 67 year old farmworker to shoot his fellow co-workers dead, the working conditions that employees endured and the concentration of immigrant and or potentially illegal workers at the fields.