Seven dead in Half Moon Bay shooting after second US attack in three days

A suspect is arrested by law enforcement personnel after a mass shooting at two locations in the coastal northern California city of Half Moon Bay, California, - ABC AFFILIATE KGO/via REUTERS
A suspect is arrested by law enforcement personnel after a mass shooting at two locations in the coastal northern California city of Half Moon Bay, California, - ABC AFFILIATE KGO/via REUTERS

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, has lamented the "tragedy upon tragedy" after seven people were killed in the second US mass shooting in the state in three days.

Mr Newsom, a rising star in the Democrat Party who is tipped to be president, said it felt like the Second Amendment was "becoming a suicide pact" after seven Chinese labourers were shot dead at a farm and a trucking firm in northern California on Monday.

The shooting comes after 11 people - mostly elderly Chinese residents - were killed at a Lunar New Year festival in Monterey Park, southern California on Saturday.

Officials called Saturday's attack the deadliest mass shooting in Los Angeles County’s history.

"This Second Amendment is becoming a suicide pact, it feels like," Mr Newsom said.

"California's 37 per cent lower than the death rate of the rest of the nation, and yet, with all that evidence, no one on the other side seems to give a damn. I can’t get anything done in Congress.”

The governor said he was at a hospital meeting with victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he was informed about the second shooting in Half Moon Bay. "Tragedy upon tragedy," he said.

Zhao was arrested in connection with two related shootings Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, where multiple were killed at a mushroom farm and a trucking firm in a coastal community south of San Francisco - San Mateo County Sheriffs Department/San Mateo County Sheriffs Department
Zhao was arrested in connection with two related shootings Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, where multiple were killed at a mushroom farm and a trucking firm in a coastal community south of San Francisco - San Mateo County Sheriffs Department/San Mateo County Sheriffs Department

The accused gunman, named as Zhao Chunli, 67, of Half Moon Bay, was taken into custody a short time later after he was found sitting in his vehicle, parked outside a sheriff's station, where authorities said they believe he had come to turn himself in.

A semi-automatic handgun was found in his car, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus told an evening news conference.

Corpus said the suspect, who was "fully cooperating" with investigators following his arrest, had worked at one of the two crime scenes.

She described the sites as agricultural "nurseries," where some of the workers also lived. Local media reported one site was a mushroom farm.

Seven people were killed in two shootings on Monday - AP
Seven people were killed in two shootings on Monday - AP
A San Mateo County Sheriffs officer holds crime scene tape for a vehicle to pass by at a location near where multiple people were found shot to death on Monday - Carlos Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle
A San Mateo County Sheriffs officer holds crime scene tape for a vehicle to pass by at a location near where multiple people were found shot to death on Monday - Carlos Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle

A motive for the shooting is under investigation.

Officials in Half Moon Bay lamented the fresh violence on Monday afternoon.

“Two hours ago I joined my colleagues on the Capitol steps for a vigil for the victims of the shooting in Monterey Park,” Marc Berman, a California assemblyman, said.

“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.”

The two latest shootings were also notable for the age of the suspects, one in his late 60s, another in his early 70s.

In new footage, a man can be seen wrestling the gun away from the Monterey Park shooting suspect.

In the video from NBC news, Brandon Tsay can be seen seizing the gun from the suspect and pointing the weapon towards him.

"At one point I was able to pull the gun away from him, point the gun at him, intimidate him, shout at him, and say get the hell out of here. I'll shoot. Go away," he said in an interview.

Elsewhere on Monday night, a shootout at a gas station in Oakland killed one person and wounded seven others in the San Francisco Bay Area

Police gave few details but said the surviving victims had all gotten themselves to area hospitals.

The shootout took place only a few hours after the Half Moon Bay shooting and no arrests have been made so far.