Seven people were killed and one seriously injured in a mass shooting at two mushroom farms in the town of Half Moon Bay on Monday afternoon, CBS Bay Area reports. A suspect turned himself in, authorities say.
It was the second mass shooting in California in three days and was followed hours later by another.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to the Magic Mushroom Farm after a report of a multiple-victim shooting.
Agents found four bodies with gunshot wounds, the office said, and a fifth victim, who also suffered gunshot wounds, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
Deputies then rushed to a second nearby shooting scene: Concord Farms, also a mushroom farm, where three other people were found dead, the sheriff’s office said.
While it was not clear if the two farms were connected, the suspect was described as a disgruntled employee who worked at one of them.
Half Moon Bay Deputy Mayor Joaquin Jimenez said the victims included Chinese and Latino farmworkers.
At one point Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said a media presentation would be held at a substation between the two farms. At around 4:40 p.m., a man wearing a white baseball-style cap was seen leaving the substation in handcuffs.
According to the sheriff’s office, the shooting suspect went to the substation and surrendered. The CBS Bay area cameras were there:
The suspect was identified as Zhao Chunli, 67, a resident of Half Moon Bay. The gun used in the shootings was found in his vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities later said they believed the weapon, a semi-automatic rifle, was the only weapon used in the shooting, but could not say whether it was obtained legally.
A family reunification center that was set up was also being used to provide shelter for families living in residences that are too close to the crime scene to allow them to return home.
“This type of shooting is horrible,” San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said at a news conference Monday night. “It’s a tragedy we hear about all too often, but today it has come home here in San Mateo County.”
The motive for the shooting was not immediately known.
It came just two days after a mass shooting in Monterey Park following a Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday night that left at least 11 people dead. Later Monday, at least one person was killed and seven others were injured in a shooting at an Oakland gas station, authorities said.
On January 16, a 16-year-old mother and her 10-month-old baby were among six people shot dead in what the local sheriff called a “massacre” at a home in California’s Central Valley.
Located along the northern coast of California, Half Moon Bay is a sleepy farming community most famous for its annual pumpkin festival and the Mavericks big wave surfing competition.
Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted about the latest mass shooting in his state, saying he was visiting the victims of the Monterey Park shooting in the hospital when he was taken out and told them what happened in Half Moon Bay.
“Tragedy upon tragedy,” the governor observed.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted that President Biden had been briefed on the Half Moon Bay shooting and “has called on federal law enforcement to provide necessary assistance to local law enforcement.” . The FBI confirmed that it is assisting the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office with “investigative and forensic resources.”
“This is an enormous tragedy. When any of us thinks of Half Moon Bay, it’s always a happy and pleasant thought. It’s the home of the pumpkin fest. It’s the Mavericks surfing competition. But today, it’s murder. Seven precious lives losses,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) said in an interview with CBS News Bay Area. “We don’t understand why. We are grateful that the sheriff’s department has the suspect in custody. But this is the destruction of the lives of seven families and I understand that one person has been taken to Stanford Medical Center for treatment and I understand is seriously.”
Eshoo also said that officials are bringing in Chinese and Spanish interpreters to communicate with the families of the victims in Half Moon Bay.
“We are sickened by today’s tragedy in Half Moon Bay,” Dave Pine, chairman of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “We haven’t even had time to grieve for the people lost in the terrible shooting in Monterey Park. Gun violence must stop.”
Concord Farms issued a statement to CBS News saying in part: “Concord Farms is a family-owned and operated mushroom farm at this location for 37 years. With no prior knowledge of this gunman or his motives, we are shocked and very eager for more.” “. information from authorities and their investigations Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the Chinese American community, from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Park.