A 66-year-old man is suspected of fatally shooting seven people and injuring one other at two farms in Half Moon Bay Monday afternoon.
At 2:22 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Mountain Mushroom Farm in the 12700 block of State Route 92 on a report of a shooting with multiple victims. Deputies located four victims there deceased, along with a fifth victim who was transported to Stanford Medical Center with life threatening injuries.
Shortly thereafter, three more victims were located at a separate shooting scene at Concord Farms in the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway South, less than three miles away.
At 4:40 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy located the suspected lone shooter, identified as 66-year-old Half Moon Bay resident Chunli Zhao (pictured), in his vehicle in the parking lot of the Sheriff’s Office Half Moon Bay Police Substation.
Zhao was taken into custody without incident, and a semiautomatic handgun was located in his vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus told the media that Zhao may have been co-workers with the victims, who were migrant workers. “All of the evidence we have points to this being the instance of workplace violence,” Corpus said.
“This is a devastating tragedy for this community and the many families touched by this unspeakable act of violence,” she added.
San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller, who represents District 3 which includes the coast, said his office is working with the County to organize community mental health services and counseling.
“We are grateful to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office for apprehending the suspect in this matter,” Mueller said in a statement. “This scourge of gun violence that, in recent days, has afflicted our state and our community must come to an end!”
The tragedy in Half Moon Bay occurred only days after 11 people were killed and nine injured at a dance studio in Monterey Park, a city east of Los Angeles, on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
At 4:15 p.m. Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom posted on Twitter that he was “at the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another mass shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay.”
“Tragedy upon tragedy,” Newsom wrote.
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, added, “this incessant cycle must be broken for the sake of our children and grandchildren.”
“Half Moon Bay is a beloved and tight-knit community, and we all stand with them and the families of the victims during this dark hour,” said U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents the congressional district that includes Half Moon Bay.