7 dead, 1 injured in Half Moon Bay shootings; suspect in custody


A San Mateo County sheriff deputy checks in FBI agents as they arrive at the scene of a shooting on Jan. 23, 2023 in Half Moon Bay, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Seven people were killed in a mass shooting that spanned two separate scenes in Half Moon Bay Monday afternoon, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Four victims with gunshot wounds were found dead at about 2:22 p.m. at a nursery along the 12700 block of San Mateo Road (Highway 92), the sheriff’s office said. Another shooting victim was taken to Stanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Shortly after that discovery, three more shooting victims were found dead at another nursery along the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway South, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities identified the suspect as 67-year-old Half Moon Bay resident Chunli Zhao. He was taken into custody without incident at about 4:40 p.m. after he was found in his vehicle in the parking lot of the sheriff’s office substation in Half Moon Bay, the sheriff’s office said. A semi-automatic handgun was found in his car.

Authorities believe Zhao acted alone, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said. A motive for the shooting spree wasn’t immediately known.

The victims are believed to be workers on the properties, Corpus said. Half Moon Bay Councilmember Debbie Ruddock said the victims are Chinese farmworkers.

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

A family reunification center was set up at IDES Hall, which is located at 735 Main St. in Half Moon Bay.

The shootings in Half Moon Bay come on the heels of a weekend mass shooting in the Southern California city of Monterey Park that left 11 people dead.

“This kind of shooting is horrific,” Corpus said. “It’s a tragedy that we hear about far too often, but today it’s hit home here in San Mateo County.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was meeting with victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he learned about the mass shooting in Half Moon Bay.

“Tragedy upon tragedy,” he said in a tweet.

Other local, state and federal leaders issued similar sentiments.

This is a developing story. Details may change as more information becomes available. Stay tuned for updates.



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