Gunman kills seven people in second mass shooting to hit California in two days

24 Jan 2023


Police investigate the scene of a mass shooting off Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay, California.
Seven people were killed by the shooter (Picture: AP)

A gunman shot dead seven people in front of children in California – just two days after 11 people were killed in an attack in the same state.

Police were called after local resident, Zhao Chunli, 67, gunned down farmworkers near a nursery in Half Moon Bay, California.

Zhao shot dead three of his victims in the trailers where they lived before gunning down another in a field where they worked, officials said.

Four people were later found dead two miles away at a nursery close to the farm on Cabrillo Highway South – taking the total to seven dead and one injured.

It comes just two days after 11 people were shot and killed in the majority-Asian area of Monterey Park, California – around 380 miles away.

The suspect was last night filmed by news cameras turning himself into the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office about two hours after the attack.

He was found in his vehicle in the parking lot of the sheriff’s office substation, it has been reported.

Half Moon Bay shooter turns himself into police for cameras after killing seven

San Mateo County Sheriffs officers and EMS personnel gather along a road at a location near where multiple people were found shot to death on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Half Moon Bay, Calif
Officers were called after reports of gunfire at a farm in Half Moon Bay (Picture: AP)
Law enforcement, including the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, investigate a shooting off state Highway 92 in Half Moon Bay, California
Police said a number of farmworkers were killed in the horrific shooting (Picture: AP)

The first four victims were discovered at a mushroom farm at around 2.22 pm local time (00.22 GMT).

Another victim was taken to Stanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Investigators have not yet provided a motive for this attack.

Supervisor Ray Mueller said: ‘They were farmworkers affected tonight. There were children on the scene of the incident.

‘This is truly a heartbreaking incident in our community.’

San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said at a news conference that the suspect was arrested after driving himself to a local police station just before 5pm.

He was found with a semi-automatic pistol that may have been used in the attack, and is currently ‘co-operating’ with police, she added.

Mrs Corpus added that an eighth victim is in a ‘critical condition.’

She said: ‘This kind of shooting is horrific…It’s a tragedy we hear about far too often, but today it’s hit home here in San Mateo County.’

In a news conference, the sheriff also confirmed that witnesses included children who had recently been let out of school and lived on the rural property.

‘For children to witness this is unspeakable,’ she said.

Zhao Chunli
Officers identified the suspect as Zhao Chunli, 67 (Picture: SMC Sheriffs Office)
Half Moon Bay Police vehicles surround one of two scenes of mass shootings at farms in Half Moon Bay, California
Four people were found dead in a nursery near to the first shooting scene (Picture: EPA)
A San Mateo County Sheriff's Office vehicle is seen near where victims were found dead in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California
San Mateo County Sheriff Police at the scene in Half Moon Bay where the shooter killed seven people (Picture: Reuters)
Half Moon Bay Police arrest shooting suspect Zhao Chunli
Dramatic video footage shows the moment suspect Mr Chunli was arrested (Picture: KGO-TV)

California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted that he was ‘at the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting.

‘This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy.’

The owners of the mushroom farm said they were ‘shook’ after hearing about the shooting last night.

In a statement to CNN, San Mateo County-based Concord Farms said with ‘no past knowledge with this gunman or his motives, we are shook and very eager to gain more information from the authorities and their investigations.

They added: ‘Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the Chinese American community — from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Park.’

Half Moon Bay Council member Debbie Ruddock told NBC that the victims were Chinese farmworkers.

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine said 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.

‘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.’.

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