Seven people were killed in shootings at two farms in the Northern California city of Half Moon Bay on Monday, according to officials, and a suspect described as a “disgruntled worker” later turned himself in.
The victims were gunned down at the two scenes separated by several miles on the outskirts of the small city along the Golden State’s coast, NBC Bay Area reported.
A suspect, identified as 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, was arrested in connection with the shootings, authorities said.
San Mateo Sheriff Christina Corpus said Zhao, a Half Moon Bay resident, was found in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation and surrendered to deputies without incident. A semi-automatic weapon was found in this vehicle, she said.
A man wearing a white baseball cap was seen being led away in handcuffs, CBS Bay Area reported.
Sheriff officials said four people were fatally gunned down and one person was wounded at one nursery and the other three victims were killed at another nursery. Authorities began receiving reports of shots fired around 2:30 p.m.
It’s not clear how the two locations are tied to each other, but San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine said the suspect worked for one of the businesses. He also called the suspect a “disgruntled worker.”
Corpus said the motive for the shooting was unknown, but she confirmed the alleged shooter worked for one of the businesses. The sheriff’s office believes Zhao was the only suspect in the shootings.
The victims were also workers at the facilities, police said.
Some of the workers even lived at the location and children might’ve witnessed the gunfire, Corpus said. Half Moon Bay Councilmember Debbie Ruddock said the victims were Chinese farmworkers, NBC Bay Area reported.
The deadly rampage comes just days after 11 people were killed in the Monterey Park ballroom mass shooting.
“We are sickened by today’s tragedy in Half Moon Bay. 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,” Pine said in a statement.
“Gun violence must stop. The State of California has among the strictest gun laws in the United States, which we have strengthened through local action here, but more must be done. The status quo cannot be tolerated.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was comforting victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he received news of the Half Moon Bay tragedy.
“At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting,” Newsom said in a tweet Monday evening. “This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy.”
California State Sen. Josh Becker said his thoughts are with all those affected.
“Gun violence has come to our district today and I will do whatever I can to support the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department and Half Moon Bay city officials during this tragic event. We will continue to monitor this situation,” Becker said in a tweet. “My thoughts go out to all affected.”
With Post wires