5 shootings in California, Iowa and Washington leave 24 dead as the scourge of gun violence in the United States continues



CNN

A series of shootings in three states has been heartbreaking for several days, leaving 24 dead as more cities join a growing list of American communities scarred by gun violence.

“Only in America do we see this kind of carnage, this kind of chaos, this kind of disruption to communities and lives and trust and a sense of security and belonging,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday after his state suffered three mass shootings in about 44 hours.

Forty mass shootings have been recorded in the US so far in 2023, more than at this point in any year on record, according to the Archive of Gun Violence.

Newsom was still visiting victims of the Saturday night Monterey Park shooting that claimed 11 lives when he was told of a second shooting Monday afternoon in Half Moon Bay, which authorities later described as an apparent “act of violence in the workplace” that left seven dead.

“I feared two days ago that Monterey Park would give way to other headlines. I didn’t know it would be up here,” Newsom said, speaking from Half Moon Bay. “Meanwhile, the trauma and damage of the devastation is felt for generations in some cases: communities are divided, no one feels safe.”

The mayor of Monterey Park, still reeling from the attack in his town, offered his condolences to the bereaved in Half Moon Bay. “I know what awaits you in the days ahead,” said Mayor Henry Lo.

Hours after the Half Moon Bay shooting, five people were shot, including an 18-year-old who died Monday in Oakland, California.

Also Monday, a man in Des Moines, Iowa, opened fire on a building that houses an educational program for at-risk youth, killing two students and critically wounding the program’s founder, police said.

Then, early Tuesday, a man shot and killed three people at or near a Circle K convenience store in Yakima, Washington, police said.

Those are just a few of the communities mourning recent acts of gun violence, including mass shootings in which four or more people were shot, not including a gunman.

Here are the latest key developments:

In Half Moon Bay, the suspect was subject to a temporary restraining order after a former co-worker and roommate accused him of attacking and threatening him in 2013, court records obtained by CNN show. The 66-year-old suspect, arrested Monday, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday, the San Mateo County district attorney’s office told CNN.

In Monterey Park, the 11 people killed have been identified. All were between 50 and 70 years old.

In Yakima, the suspect was found dead Tuesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

In Des Moines, a shooting suspect has been arrested and charged with murder.

Investigators and federal agents in the different cases are tracking firearms, serving search warrants, vetting suspects’ backgrounds and seeking motives.

Here are more details on some of the most recent major shootings.

Sheriff's deputies talk to people at the scene of a deadly shooting in Half Moon Bay on Monday.

The suspect, identified as Chunli Zhao, killed seven people and wounded one in a mass shooting on Monday, authorities said. Four people were shot at a mushroom farm, where the suspect was an employee, and three more were killed at a nearby farm, authorities said.

“All the evidence we have points to this being a case of workplace violence,” San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said Tuesday, adding that the victims were Asian or Hispanic.

Zhao was a “co-worker or former co-worker” of the victims at each shooting site, the sheriff’s office said.

The suspect, who was not known to local police before the shooting, possessed a semi-automatic weapon registered to him, the sheriff told CNN on Tuesday.

The suspect had been charged with attempting to asphyxiate and threatening to kill a former coworker at another job nearly a decade ago, according to court records obtained by CNN, which show he was subject to a temporary restraining order after a former coworker work and roommate accused him. attacking and threatening him in 2013.

Authorities still don’t know what prompted the Saturday night shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, which occurred as the city’s largely Asian community was celebrating Lunar New Year.

Investigators served a search warrant at the home of the suspected gunman, Huu Can Tran, 72, and found “hundreds of rounds” of ammunition, as well as evidence that led officials to believe he was “manufacturing firearm suppressors from homemade fire”, Los Angeles. County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

The gunman fired 42 rounds from a semi-automatic pistol in the ballroom before heading to a second dance studio in nearby Alhambra, where a civilian attacked him and seized his weapon, Luna said.

Eleven people died and several more were injured.

Officers stand guard near the shooting site in Monterey Park.

The victims were identified by the coroner’s office as: Xiujuan Yu, 57; Hongying Jian, 62; Lilian Li, 63; MymyNhan, 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.

Less than a day later, Tran was found dead inside a white pickup truck about 30 miles away in Torrance. He died after a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the sheriff said.

The suspect was familiar with the ballroom, but it’s unclear if he knew any of those killed, authorities said.

In Yakima, a man entered a Circle K early Tuesday morning and opened fire, killing two people inside, then walked out of the store and shot and killed a third person, Police Chief Matt Murray said.

Police finally pinpointed the suspect’s location Tuesday after receiving a call from a woman in Yakima who had lent the suspect her phone and heard him make “various incriminating statements, including ‘I killed those people,'” Murray said during a press conference.

Police responded and later announced that the suspect had apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police had previously identified the “suspected homicide suspect” as 21-year-old Jarid Haddock.

The motive behind the shooting was being investigated, but Murray said the attack seemed “very random.”

Up to 50 people were filming a music video when “multiple shooters fired in multiple directions” Monday night in Oakland, the city’s acting police chief said.

Officers received an alert via gunshot detection technology and responded to find “some casings” but no victims. They later learned that shooting victims showed up at several area hospitals, Acting Chief Darren Allison said.

Five people were shot, including an 18-year-old man who died. A driver and passengers were also injured when they collided while fleeing the scene, Allison said.

It was a “targeted shooting” and investigators are “looking into the possibility of a gang or group connection to this incident,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, Des Moines police and fire personnel responded to a report of a shooting at an educational program for at-risk youth.

They found three gunshot victims, who were taken to hospitals. Two students, ages 18 and 16, died and the program founder was hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.

Officers stand outside a building housing an educational program Monday after a shooting in Des Moines, Iowa.

One suspect, 18-year-old Preston Walls, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and criminal gang involvement, police said. CNN has not been able to determine if he has an attorney.

“There is nothing random about this. It was certainly a targeted incident,” Des Moines police Sgt. said. Paul Parizek said about the shooting. “But as far as getting a motive, that’s something we’re going to try to figure out.”

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