HALF MOON BAY, California: A California farm employee was charged on Wednesday (Jan 25) with seven counts of homicide for a shooting spree that killed seven people, a few of them his co-workers, within the state’s second deadly gun rampage in recent days.
The San Mateo County District Legal professional charged Chunli Zhao, 66, the lone suspect in Monday’s bloodbath at two mushroom farms within the city of Half Moon Bay close to San Francisco, with seven counts of homicide and one depend of tried homicide, hours earlier than he was anticipated to seem earlier than a choose on the San Mateo County Superior Court docket in Redwood Metropolis.
Zhao was charged with “special circumstances”, accused of “personally and intentionally” capturing to kill. California legislation declares that defendants convicted of homicide with “special circumstances” could be eligible for the loss of life penalty, however Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 declared a moratorium on executions. The state has not executed a condemned inmate since 2006.
Additionally on Wednesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris, a California native, deliberate to journey to the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park, website of the primary of the latest lethal rampages. She was anticipated to fulfill with some households of the 11 individuals who have been fatally shot in a dance corridor on Saturday evening by a gunman who later took his personal life.
Coming in fast succession, the 2 capturing sprees left California reeling from one of many bloodiest spates of mass gun violence in a long time in a state with a few of the strictest firearm legal guidelines within the nation.
Zhao was taken into custody on Monday night outdoors a sheriff’s station, the place police mentioned he had pushed shortly after the assault on farm employees.
The exact motive for the capturing remained unclear. Zhao had been employed by one of many growers, Mountain Mushroom Farm, and had resided on the property together with another staff, in keeping with a spokesperson for California Terra Gardens, which owns the farm. Authorities mentioned early proof indicated the bloodshed stemmed from a office grievance. The second crime scene, Harmony Farms, is a few mile away.
Half Moon Bay, a group of about 12,000 residents south of San Francisco, is house to each a luxurious resort and a low-income farming group. The capturing solid a renewed highlight on hardships confronted by the realm’s farm employees, a lot of them immigrants from Latin America and Asia who typically reside in squalid labour encampments and toil lengthy hours beneath poor situations for terribly low pay.
The San Mateo County Coroner named six of the seven deceased victims on Wednesday and listed their ages as between 43 and 73. Charging paperwork listed the lifeless as Yetao Bing, Qizhong Cheng, Jingzhi Lu, Zhishen Liu, Aixiang Zhang, Jose Romero and Marciano Martinez Jimenez.
Jose Romero’s brother Pedro was additionally injured within the assault and was hospitalized as of Tuesday, the brothers’ cousin Jose Juarez instructed Reuters. Juarez mentioned the brothers had immigrated from Mexico and labored at Mountain Mushroom Farm.
Two days earlier than the Half Moon Bay killings, one other gunman 380 miles to the south opened hearth on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a membership frequented principally by older patrons of Asian descent in Monterey Park.
Eleven people died and nine were injured in Saturday evening’s gunfire, which some survivors and bystanders mentioned they initially mistook for fireworks because the predominantly Asian-American group was observing the beginning of the Lunar New Yr.
Authorities mentioned the assailant, Huu Can Tran, 72, drove a short while later to a second dance corridor within the neighboring city of Alhambra. There, the membership’s operator disarmed him earlier than he may open hearth.
The following morning, Tran shot himself to loss of life behind the wheel of his getaway car as police closed in on him south of Los Angeles, leaving investigators with few clues as to his motive.