The suspect in the mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, Calif., was charged Wednesday with seven counts of murder and one attempted murder in what became the deadliest assault in San Mateo County history, the district attorney said.
“This falls into a category well beyond anything we’ve ever dealt with,” said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. “I’m sorry we’ve joined the list of counties in this country that have had to deal with this.”
The suspect – identified as 66-year-old Chunli Zhao – is accused of shooting dead four people at a mushroom farm where the suspect was an employee on Monday, and three others were killed at a nearby farm, authorities said. The suspect was a “colleague or former employee” of the victims at each shooting site, and evidence suggests the attack was a case of workplace violence, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said.
As the investigation continues, the Half Moon Bay community’s sense of peace has been “shattered by senseless death,” said California Assembly member Marc Berman, noting that disagreements exist in the workplace and in relationships around the world.
“But only in the United States do these disagreements end in mass shootings all too often,” Berman added, promising that the state will do everything it can to further reduce such incidents.
The attack was the second mass shooting suffered by California in just 48 hours. It came as investigators in the South were still assembling, leading to a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, that killed 11 people Saturday night.
Meanwhile, new details emerged at the Yakima, Washington, which left three people dead in or near a Circle K store less than a day after the Half Moon Bay shooting. Court documents revealed on Wednesday that the shooting suspect’s mother called police in the hours after the attack and said she believed her son was involved in the shooting.
Here are some other key developments from recent filming:
- The semi-automatic handgun is said to have been used by the Crescent Bay The suspect was legally purchased and owned, authorities said. The suspect faces life in prison without parole or the death penalty, prosecutors said.
- in the Monterey Park shoot detection, Officials on Wednesday recovered a motorcycle registered to the suspect just a block from the scene of the shooting, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announced, adding that they believe it may be an “alternative getaway vehicle.” “ acted.
- Court documents filed by the Yakima The police department described the suspect who went to K Circle and walked for about 30 minutes before returning and opening fire.
“Only in America do we see this type of carnage, this type of chaos, this type of destruction of communities and lives,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday, calling for federal action on gun safety laws.
There have been more mass shootings than days in the US this year.
Forty mass shootings were recorded in the United States in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive — more than at this point in any other year on record.
As communities scarred by gun violence continue to mourn the lives lost, investigators into the various cases have worked to determine the motives behind the attacks. Here are more details on some of the recent shoots.
Authorities still don’t know what motivated Saturday night’s shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, and investigators have so far been unable to connect the suspect to any of the victims — including a romantic connection, the Los Angeles County sheriff said Robert Luna on Wednesday with.
Investigators also don’t believe the suspect — identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran — has attended the dance studio in the past five years, Luna said. Three people who knew Tran, including his ex-wife, previously told CNN he was once a familiar face at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where he taught informal dance classes.
“Sometimes it’s frustrating when something like this happens. It’s so tragic because we’re trying to understand it and it doesn’t make sense. It really doesn’t,” the sheriff added, explaining that investigators were working to find a motive.
The gunman fired 42 rounds from a semi-automatic pistol at the dance hall before heading to a second dance studio at the nearby Alhambra, where a civilian attacked him and grabbed the gun, Luna said.
The firearm – which sources say was then used to identify the suspect – is believed to be the murder weapon, Luna said. The gun was not registered in the state of California but was purchased by the suspect in Monterey Park in 1999, the sheriff added.
On Wednesday, officers seized a motorcycle registered to the suspect just a block from the crime scene in Monterey Park, the sheriff said.
“Homicide investigators determined that the motorcycle was parked there sometime Saturday, just prior to the mass murder,” Luna said. “Investigators believe it was placed there by the suspect as an alternate getaway vehicle.”
Less than a day after the shooting, Tran was found dead in a white van about 30 miles away in Torrance. He died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the sheriff previously said.
The dance studio shooting killed 11 people and injured nine others.
Those killed were identified by the Coroner’s Office as follows: Xiujuan Yu, 57; Hong Ying Jian, 62; Lilan Li, 63; Mymy Nhan, 65; Muoi Dai Ung, 67; and Diana Man Ling Tom, 70; Wen-Tau Yu, 64; Valentino Marcos Alvero, 68; Ming Wei Ma, 72; Yu Lun Kao, 72; and Chia Ling Yau, 76.
After the attack, investigators issued a search warrant at the suspected shooter’s home and found “hundreds of rounds” of ammunition and evidence leading officials to believe he “made home-made firearm suppressors,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff said , Robert Luna.
Authorities on Wednesday identified those killed in the Half Moon Bay shooting as: Yetao Bing, 43, Qizhong Cheng, 66, Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, Aixiang Zhang, 74, Jingzhi Lu, 64, and Zhishen Liu ( 73).
Speaking from Half Moon Bay on Tuesday, Newsom said the victims were dealing with “myriad problems” at the same time, and described speaking to people in the hospital who seemed more concerned about the cost of healthcare bills or losing their jobs, because they can’t work.
“The stories are devastating,” Newsom said.
Zhao made his first court appearance on Wednesday but did not file a plea. He’s scheduled Charged February 16.
In addition to murder charges, Zhao also faces charges of using a firearm, aggravated assault and multiple murders, according to District Attorney Wagstaffe.
Zhao had previously been accused of attempting to choke and threatening to kill a former colleague at another workplace nearly a decade ago.
Court documents filed by the Yakima Police Department on Wednesday revealed new details about the deadly shooting.
The suspect, identified as 21-year-old Jarid Haddock, visited the Circle K store around 3 a.m. and walked around for about 40 seconds without interacting with anyone or buying anything, according to investigators who reviewed surveillance video. according to the court documents.
He returned 30 minutes later, this time with a gun, the document said.
The suspect pointed the gun at a man and woman and fired multiple shots at them as he moved towards them, police said, adding that “based on the video, it appears that Jarid fired all the rounds from his magazine.”
He then dropped the magazine from the gun and reached into his pocket for another and again approached the victims who were lying on the ground, officials said. According to the video, the woman was still alive “as her arm was moving,” and the gunman stood over the woman and fired “several shots at her,” court documents said.
After the suspect exited the store, he ran to the gas pumps and approached a Chevrolet Tahoe and “fired about six shots in the driver’s side window,” hitting the driver, the court documents revealed.
According to the documents, Haddock’s mother called police after 7 a.m. and said she believed her son was involved in the shooting.
The mother told police that Haddock “has been using methamphetamine for about three years,” but it has gotten worse in the last month and he has access to several firearms in a safe at home — including one similar to an “AK-47 that could be many.” Killing people,” the court documents said.
Police were eventually referred to the suspect’s whereabouts after a woman who lent the suspect her phone overheard him “make several incriminating statements, including ‘I killed these people,'” Murray said during a news conference.
The suspect later died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.