Half Moon Bay shooting suspect to face seven counts of murder: DA
Written by ABC Audio ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on January 25, 2023
(HALF MOON BAY, Calif.) — The suspect in a deadly mass shooting at two Northern California farms will be charged with seven counts of murder, the local district attorney said.
The alleged gunman, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday with an arraignment hearing at 1:30 p.m. local time.
Ahead of the hearing, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told ABC News he will be filing a felony complaint on Wednesday against Zhao consisting of seven counts of murder, as well as one count of attempted murder, firearm use enhancements and a count of special circumstance allegation of multiple murder.
Seven people were fatally shot at two nurseries in Half Moon Bay on Monday. An eighth shooting victim was hospitalized in stable condition as of Tuesday evening, authorities said.
Workplace violence is believed to be the motive, authorities said. Zhao worked at one of the shooting locations, Mountain Mushroom Farm, but it’s unclear what connection he may have had with the victims beyond being co-workers, authorities said.
All victims are thought to be workers at the nurseries and were of Asian and Hispanic descent, authorities said.
Zhao was arrested on Monday when the sheriff’s office located his vehicle in the parking lot of the Sheriff’s Office Half Moon Bay Police Substation, the department said.
A semi-automatic handgun was found in the suspect’s car that had been legally purchased, authorities said.
Zhao is believed to have acted alone, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said.
ABC News’ Alex Stone contributed to this report.
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