Half Moon Bay: at least seven dead in another California mass shooting

Two attacks in agricultural area near Half Moon Bay come within days of shootings in Monterey Park and Central Valley

Seven people have been killed in an agricultural region of northern California, authorities said on Monday, the latest shootings to rattle the state in recent days.

Two fatal shootings took place at a mushroom farm and a trucking firm on the outskirts of Half Moon Bay, a coastal community about 30 miles south of San Francisco, officials said.

Deputies responding to a call found four people dead and a fifth victim wounded at the first location in Half Moon Bay, then found three more dead at the second location nearby, Sheriff Christina Corpus told a news conference on Monday evening.

“This is a devastating tragedy for this community and the many families touched by this unspeakable act of violence,” said Corpus.

Police have arrested a suspect, named as 67-year-old Zhao Chunli, in connection with the shooting.

The shootings are being treated as related, although the connection between the locations was not immediately clear. Dave Pine, the president of the San Mateo county board of supervisors, said the suspect was employed at one of the businesses and called him a “disgruntled worker”.

The shooting followed the killing of 11 people over the weekend at a ballroom dance hall in the southern California city of Monterey Park, near Los Angeles. It also comes on the heels of a shooting in California’s Central Valley last week, where six people, including an infant, were killed in the small town of Goshen.

A suspect is arrested by law enforcement personnel after a mass shooting in Half Moon Bay.
A suspect is arrested by law enforcement personnel after a mass shooting in Half Moon Bay. Photograph: Abc Affiliate Kgo/Reuters

The San Mateo county sheriff’s office said it first received reports of a shooting just before 2.30pm and found four people dead from gunshot wounds at the first scene. Shortly thereafter, officers found three more people dead from gunshot wounds at a second location about 5 miles (8 km) away, Capt Eamonn Allen said in a news release.

The office did not share any information about the connection between the two locations, and the motive for the shooting is not known, Allen said.

About two hours after first responding, a sheriff’s deputy found the suspect, Zhao, in his car at a sheriff’s station in Half Moon Bay. He was taken into custody and a weapon was found in his vehicle. The sheriff’s department believes he acted alone, Allen said.


Half Moon Bay is a small coastal city with agricultural roots now home to about 12,000 people. The city and surrounding San Mateo county area is known for producing flowers as well as vegetables. The county allows cannabis farming in certain areas.

State senator Josh Becker, who represents much of San Mateo county, called the area “a very close-knit” agricultural community. “We’re still trying to understand exactly what happened and why, but it’s just incredibly, incredibly tragic,” Becker said.

Other public figures spoke out in shock at the killings, which also mark the nation’s sixth mass killing – that is, with at least four fatalities excluding any perpetrator – just 23 days into the new year.

“We are sickened by today’s tragedy in Half Moon Bay,” Pine said in a statement. “We have not even had time to grieve for those lost in the terrible shooting in Monterey Park. Gun violence must stop.”

“Two hours ago I joined my colleagues on the Capitol steps for a vigil for the victims of the shooting in Monterey Park,” tweeted Marc Berman, a member of the California state assembly. Before we’ve even had a chance to mourn them, there is yet another mass shooting – this time in Half Moon Bay. In my district.”

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, described it as “tragedy upon tragedy”.

“At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay,” the governor tweeted.

Guardian staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Victims named in mass shooting at Half Moon Bay mushroom farms in California
Suspect charged with murdering seven people in latest of a string of deadly shootings in the state

Dani Anguiano in Los Angeles and agencies

26, Jan, 2023 @12:28 AM

Article image
California shooting: four dead and at least one child wounded at school
Attacker fired shots at multiple sites in the state’s rural north before police killed him, authorities say

Sam Levin in San Francisco

15, Nov, 2017 @7:19 AM

Article image
Shooting in Los Angeles park leaves at least two dead
Seven people taken to hospital after gunfire erupts at informal car show at Peck Park in San Pedro area

Guardian staff and agencies

25, Jul, 2022 @6:21 AM

Article image
Eight days, 25 dead: California shaken by string of mass shootings
A series of four attacks have upended communities across the state, from a city to farming towns

Lois Beckett and Sam Levin in Los Angeles

25, Jan, 2023 @7:24 PM

Article image
Ten dead after California sees three mass shootings in four days
Shootings at high school, home and backyard party prompt renewed calls for action against gun violence

Sam Levin in Los Angeles

19, Nov, 2019 @2:31 AM

Article image
YouTube shooting: at least three injured and female suspect dead in apparent suicide
Police say they have no details about motive in attack at company’s California headquarters as victims are treated at nearby hospital

Olivia Solon and Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco

03, Apr, 2018 @10:57 PM

Article image
Mass shooting in Seattle leaves one dead and seven injured
Police search for suspect in Wednesday’s attack, third in area in two days

Guardian staff and agencies

23, Jan, 2020 @3:27 AM

Article image
At least seven dead in another California mass shooting in Half Moon Bay | First Thing
Authorities respond to calls at two locations in second shooting in California in days, following Monterey Park killings. Plus, uproar over Kylie Jenner’s fake lion head at Paris fashion week

Nicola Slawson

24, Jan, 2023 @10:22 AM

Article image
Northern California shooting case of ‘workplace violence’, police say
Authorities say 67-year-old killed four and wounded one at a mushroom farm then killed three more at a trucking firm

Dani Anguiano in Los Angeles and Richard Luscombe

25, Jan, 2023 @12:57 AM

Article image
Seven dead including gunman in 'mass murder' California shooting
County sheriff confirms dead includes gunman, who drove black BMW through streets near California college campus firing bullets in 'premeditated mass murder'

Martin Pengelly in New York, Martin Williams and agencies

24, May, 2014 @9:46 PM