Suspect in shootings at Half Moon Bay farms was employee

Half Moon Bay (CALIFORNIA): An agricultural worker killed 7 people Shooting at the two mushroom farms that hired him in Northern California and the massacre is believed to be an “instance of workplace violence,” officials said Tuesday as the state mourned its third mass killing. in eight days.
The police arrested Chunli, 66 years old Million on Monday after they found him in his car in the sheriff’s substation parking lot, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said.
Authorities believe Zhao acted alone when he entered a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay, California, and opened fire, killing four people and seriously injuring another. He then drove to another nearby ranch where he had previously worked, and killed three others, said Eamonn Allen, a spokesman for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
No further details about Zhao’s motives or the names of the people he allegedly killed were revealed Tuesday night. He was arrested on suspicion of seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, prison records show, and is being held without bail.
At an earlier press conference, Allen declined to answer a question about whether Zhao had a criminal record, saying, “There are no specific indications that lead us to believe that he is capable of doing something. like this.”
“All the evidence we have right now points to an incident of workplace violence,” Allen said. The dead were five men and two women. The eighth victim, a man, remains in the hospital. Some are Asian and others Hispanic, and some are migrant workers.
This is not the first tantrum at Zhao’s workplace, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In 2013, Zhao was accused of threatening to slash a colleague’s head with a knife and trying to strangle him with a pillow, the Chronicle reported, based on court documents.
The two were roommates and worked at a restaurant at the time, and the man, identified as Jingjiu Wang, filed a temporary restraining order against Zhao, which was granted but no longer in effect. force. Wang could not be reached immediately.
The sheriff’s office has identified the site of the first shooting as the Mountain Mushroom Farm. But California Terra Garden took over the business last year, said company spokesman David Oates. He did not know how long Zhao had worked there and added that he was one of 35 employees who stayed when ownership changed. Oates declined to provide details about the four workers killed.
The site of the second shooting was nearby Concord Ranch. Owner Aaron Tung said in a statement that the ranch is waiting for more information before it can comment. He thanked the community for its support.
Half Moon Bay is a small, laid-back, coastal and agricultural city about 30 miles (50 km) south of San Francisco. The sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean make it a popular spot for hikers and tourists, who flock there to surf and take part in the annual giant pumpkin festival. year.
Half Moon Bay Deputy Mayor Joaquin Jimenez said earlier this month the area was hit by heavy rainstorms that caused flooding and damage, temporarily hampering farmers’ incomes. Some farm workers and their families live in mobile homes at the mushroom farm where the four people who died have been moved to hotels and given mental health care and support. after the shooting. He said the farm employs 20 to 30 Chinese and Latino workers, some of them in the country without legal permission.
“There’s a lot of fear. We have to understand, a lot of our farming communities are also undocumented, so there’s also fear about that, about their legal status. So it’s going to be very difficult for them to come forward and ask for help.” difficult,” said Jimenez, who is also the farm worker program director for Latino advocacy group ALAS.
Thousands of farm workers work in the greater San Mateo County, an area known for growing most flowers, peas, Brussels sprouts, and fava beans. BJ Burns, president of the San Mateo County Farm Bureau, said there are a number of small mushroom growers in the area.
California is still reeling from an attack in Monterey Park, just outside Los Angeles, that killed 11 people and cast a shadow over the celebration of Lunar New Year, an important holiday for many Asian-American communities. . Authorities are still searching for a motive for Saturday’s shooting.
“For the second time in recent days, California communities are mourning the loss of loved ones in a senseless act of gun violence,” said the president. Joe Biden said Tuesday. “Even as we await more details on these shootings, we know that the scourge of gun violence across America requires stronger action.”
The New Year has brought six mass murders in the US in less than three weeks, leaving 39 people dead. Three incidents have occurred in California since January 16, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. The database tracks every serial killer – defined as four deaths, excluding perpetrators – in the US since 2006.
About two hours after first receiving the report of a shooting, a deputy sheriff spotted Zhao’s car parked outside the sheriff’s substation in a shopping mall and arrested him. ta.
“He didn’t actively surrender to us,” Allen said, declining to answer a question as to why Zhao was driving there.
Video shows three officers approaching a parked car with their weapons drawn. Zhao got out and the officers dragged him to the ground, handcuffed him and led him away. Officials said a weapon was found in the vehicle. The video was shot by Kati McHugh, a Half Moon Bay resident who witnessed the arrest.
“We’re still trying to understand exactly what happened and why, but it’s very, very tragic,” said State Senator Josh Becker, who represented the area and called it “a very close-knit farming community,” said.
It’s a majority white community. About a third of the population is Latino and about 5% is Asian, according to Census data.
At an afternoon news conference, Governor Gavin Newsom said he met with Chinese farmers who heard gunfire. Through an interpreter, they said it was difficult to understand what was going on.
“They’ve never heard such a sound,” he said.
He said the shooting may have caused some in the community to panic and look for other work.
“The trauma and damage, the devastation, is felt across generations in some cases, divided communities leave no one feeling safe,” Newsom said.
The Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park shootings followed the murder of a teenage mother, her child and six others at a home in California’s Central Valley on January 16. Officials discussing the investigation mentioned a gang that might be involved in the murders.


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