Local News

Seven Killed in Half Moon Bay Shooting

By: Margo Rawlings

News Editor

On Jan. 23, suspect Chunli Zhao allegedly shot and killed seven Bay Area residents in a mass shooting in Half Moon Bay. The victims were working in two agricultural nurseries along Highway 92 and Highway 1. According to authorities, at one of the farms, Zhao murdered three victims in their homes and shot two others who were working in the fields, leaving four dead and one with life-threatening injuries. He then continued to the second farm, shooting and killing three more workers. Police later found the suspect in the parking lot of the Half Moon Bay Sheriff’s Office with a semi-automatic handgun in his car. 

Zhao lived and worked at the mushroom farm California Terra Garden where he committed the murders. Coworkers previously accused the suspect in 2013 of trying to split a man’s head open with a knife, and records show he was issued a temporary restraining order for attempting to suffocate a coworker at another farm in the Bay Area in the same year. Zhao will face charges of seven counts of murder, as well as one count of attempted murder, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney, Steve Wagstaffe. 

Servando Martinez Jimenez remembers his brother, 50-year-old victim Marciano Martinez Himenez as “a good person. He was polite and friendly with everyone. He never had any problems with anyone…I don’t understand why all this happened.” Other victims identified by police include Yetao Bing, 43; Qizhong Cheng, 66; Aixiang Zhang, 74; Jingzhi Lu, 64; and Zhishen Liu, 73. The San Mateo County Sheriff, Christina Corpus, noted during a press conference, “It’s a big rural location, so people are working, it’s spread out, there are people that live at the location as well. So it was the afternoon, kids were out of school, and for children to witness this is unspeakable.”

Governor Gavin Newsom, who was addressing the grieving Monterey City community when he learned of the shooting in Half Moon Bay, explained that “One common denominator are these damn guns…What the hell is wrong with us? That we allow these weapons of war and large capacity clips out on the streets or sidewalks? Why have we allowed this culture, this pattern, to continue?” Newsom also addressed the lack of support many of the farm workers face: “Some of you should see where these folks are living – the conditions they are in. Living in shipping containers. Folks getting $9 an hour. No healthcare, no support, no services.” 

Only hours after the shooting in Half Moon Bay, another gunman killed one and injured seven in Oakland. This surge in gun violence has prompted President Biden to push for Congress to ban assault weapons in order to curb gun violence in America. 

(Sources: CNN, BBC, NBC Bay Area, ABC 7 News)

Categories: Local News, News

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