Who is Chunli Zhao? Everything we know about the Half Moon Bay shooting suspect

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A 67-year-old farm worker is currently in police custody and seven of his co-workers are dead following the latest mass shooting to rock California.

Chunli Zhao, who worked for decades as a farmer in a mushroom farm, is accused of carrying out two separate shootings at two different agricultural businesses in Half Moon Bay, in the San Francisco area, on Monday afternoon.

The suspect, who was described as a “disgruntled worker” by authorities, was arrested two hours later after he was seen sitting in his car outside the local sheriff’s office.

As the farming community reels from the horror twin attacks – which allegedly took place in front of children – many questions remain, including who Mr. Zhao is and what might have motivated him to engage in the shooting.

Here’s what we know so far about the suspect:

Chunli Zhao

Chunli Zhao, 67, worked for decades at one of two sites in the Half Moon Bay area where Monday’s shooting took place.

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Pine told local outlet KRON4 that Mr Zhao was a “disgruntled worker” at the farm, but gave no further details.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive although all of the victims are believed to be workers at the sites.

Chunli Zhao, 67, in electronic photo

(San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)

It is not known whether the victims were targeted or shot randomly. Their identities have not been released by the authorities.

Mr. Zhao reportedly cooperated with investigators.

Shooting

The mass shooting unfolded just before 2:30 p.m. Monday, with seven victims killed at two agricultural sites – a mushroom farm and a trucking facility.

The shooter shot four victims and wounded a fifth at Mountain Mushroom Farm, and shot three other victims at Concord Farms about two miles away, authorities said.

The eighth victim was airlifted to hospital. Their condition remains unknown.

Investigators are still working to determine which shooting occurred first.

Many children are believed to have witnessed the horror attack, as many farm workers live on site with their families.

Police arrest suspect outside sheriff’s station

(Screenshot from ABC7 news)

San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus told a news conference that Mr. Zhao was found about two hours later sitting in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation.

Dramatic footage shows the suspect being thrown to the ground as armed officers take him into custody.

The video, captured by Half Moon Bay resident Kati McHugh, shows three officers approaching a parked car with weapons drawn. The suspect then gets out of the car as officers pull him to the ground, handcuff him and lead him away.

A semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the mass shooting was found inside his car, officials said.

The sheriff said they are working on the belief that the suspect went to the police station to surrender, although this remains to be confirmed. Mr. Zhao would fully cooperate with law enforcement.

The sheriff described the shooting as “horrific”, saying, “It’s a tragedy we hear about too often, but today it hit here in San Mateo County.”

Three shootings in three days in California

The Half Moon Bay shooting is one of three mass shootings in the past three days in the state, after 11 were killed in a massacre at a ballroom dance club in Monterey and eight were shot at a gas station in Oakland.

On Saturday evening, thousands of members of the Asian-American community had gathered in Monterey Park to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. A few hours later, Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old gunman, entered the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park and opened fire.

Eleven people were killed in the attack, with the death toll rising by 10 on Monday when another victim died from his injuries.

Tran then went to a second dance studio – Lai Lai Ballroom near the Alhambra – where a hero worker managed to snatch a gun from him. The shooter then fled and no one was injured in the second incident.

A massive manhunt was launched for the shooter, culminating around 12 hours later with a police confrontation in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park. Tran died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his white van.

The motive for the attack remains unclear, but it emerged Tran was paranoid that his family tried to poison him decades ago and that he went to the police with the allegations just weeks before he was killed. unleashed.

Two men lay flowers near Star Dance Studio to honor victims killed in Monterey Park shooting

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Tran also met his ex-wife at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. The couple divorced in 2006.

Hours after the Half Moon Bay shooting, a third mass shooting took place at an Oakland gas station where a teenager was killed and seven other victims injured.

The shooting happened just after 6 p.m. Monday night at a Valera gas station along Seminary Avenue and Macarthur Blvd, according to the Oakland Police Department (OPD).

At least eight people were shot in the incident, and one victim – identified by his family as 18-year-old Mario Navarro – was killed. The other seven were in stable condition and expected to survive.

Police have not confirmed what may have led to the shooting, but said the investigation to date shows several people may have exchanged gunfire.

Witnesses told local media KTVU that the shooting broke out during the filming of a music video.

Devastated family members of the teenage victim were seen collapsing outside Highland Hospital after learning that Navarro – who graduated from high school this year – had died of his injuries.

Oakland police did not say whether any arrests had been made or who they might be looking for as a suspect.

Calls for change

Local authorities criticized the shooting – which marks the third mass shooting in as many days in California.

“Gun violence arrived in our district today and I will do everything I can to support the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department and Half Moon Bay town officials during this tragic event,” said California State Senator Josh Becker. wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“We will continue to monitor this situation. My thoughts are with all those affected.

California Governor Gavin Newsom was in Monterey Park meeting with victims of Saturday’s shooting when he learned of the shooting in Half Moon Bay.

“During a meeting at the hospital with victims of a mass shooting, I am taken to be informed of another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy,” he tweeted .

Who is Chunli Zhao? Everything we know about the Half Moon Bay shooting suspect

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