Deaths at Mushroom Farms Possibly 'Workplace Violence'

The suspect in Half Moon Bay mass shooting may have worked at one of them
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 3:50 PM CST
One California Shooting May Have Been 'Workplace Violence'
Sunlight illuminates buildings at the scene of a shooting off Cabrillo Highway, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, after a gunman killed several people at two agricultural businesses in Half Moon Bay, Calif.   (AP Photo/ Aaron Kehoe)

As Californians search for answers in the three mass shootings that have rocked the state in the past few days, authorities offered some thoughts about the potential motive behind one of them. CBS News reports that preliminary evidence in the shooting in Half Moon Bay that killed seven on Monday suggests it was an act of workplace violence. San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said in a Tuesday morning news conference that the only link to emerge thus far between suspected shooter Chunli Zhao and the victims is that they are thought to be co-workers.

The first victims were shot at Mountain Mushroom Farm, where the 66-year-old Zhao is thought to have worked; the second shooting location was another mushroom farm located about a mile away called Concord Farms, reports SFGate. Investigators are probing whether there is a connection between the farms. Public information officer Eamonn Allen did not comment on whether the victims were thought to have been individually targeted.

As for Zhao, Allen said he was not known to law enforcement prior to the shooting. Corpus said the gun that was used in the shooting was a legally purchased semi-automatic handgun. Following the shooting, sheriff's deputies say Zhao drove to the sheriff substation and remained outside it in his SUV until he was sighted by a deputy and arrested, reports KTUV. He'll be arraigned on Wednesday. "We’ve never had [an incident] like this in this county with this many deaths at one time," noted San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. (Read more mass shootings stories.)

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