On Monday afternoon, a gunman opened fire at two separate agriculture sites in the seaside town of Half Moon Bay, California, killing seven people. Chunli Zhao, 67, is the suspected gunman in what is likely a case of workplace violence, the San Mateo County Sheriff told reporters. He has been arrested and is in police custody. It is the second mass shooting to happen in the state in just three days.
Law enforcement were notified of gunfire around 2:30 p.m. on Monday in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The shooter targeted Mountain Mushroom Farm, where he was employed, and is believed to have shot at least four people. According to CNN, the gunman then moved on to a trucking facility, about a mile away, where at least three people were shot. In total, seven people were found dead, while one was found with life-threatening injuries. Authorities also said children who had just come home from school witnessed the shooting.
In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement confirmed the victims are all adults, a mixture of Hispanic and Asian farm workers, who are believed to be coworkers of Zhao. A family reunification center was set up nearby for those displaced by the shootings. On Monday night, there were about 30 to 40 people there, according to the LA Times.
Zhao, the suspected gunman, was found sitting in his car at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office substation at about 4:40 p.m. A semiautomatic handgun, the weapon believed to have been used in the shootings, was also found in his car, and law enforcement confirmed it was obtained legally. Authorities also believe he is responsible for both shootings, driving from one location to the next, and is a resident of Half Moon Bay. Zhao is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday and will likely face homicide charges.
Two days earlier, Monterey Park also experienced a mass shooting at a dance studio that killed 11 people and wounded several others. The shooter, Huu Can Tran, was also found in his car, but died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Both Tran and Zhao are older than most mass shooters in the U.S., who on average are 34-years-old—Tran was 72 years old.
This is a breaking news story. We’ll update as we learn more information.