The Half Moon Bay shooting sparked by a dispute over a $100 repair bill


More details have emerged about the workplace dispute that led Zhao Chunli, 66, to kill seven people and try to kill another at two mushroom farms in Northern California a week ago.

Zhao told investigators that his shooting in Half Moon Bay was prompted after his boss asked him to pay a $100 repair bill for damage to heavy construction equipment, according to local news reports confirmed by the County District Attorney San Mateo Steve Wagstaff.

After confronting his supervisor and a co-worker who Zhao believed were responsible for the collision between his forklift and a bulldozer, he shot them dead, according to reports confirmed by Wagstaffe.

Zhao admitted in an interview with local media that he carried out the attacks and regretted them. He used a legally purchased Ruger semi-automatic handgun during the shooting, according to authorities.

The Half Moon Bay shooting drew attention to the poor working conditions of farm workers in the area.

The Washington Post reported that workers live in trailers or converted shipping containers, without access to indoor kitchens or toilets. It has had a series of problems over the past two years, including a previous shooting, a fire and a coronavirus outbreak.

Photos in Half Moon Bay reveal the poor living conditions of farm workers

Zhao felt harassed for years at the California Terra Garden farm, he said in Mandarin in a prison interview last week with KNTV reporter Janelle Wang. He worked long hours, Wang said, and when he voiced complaints to his supervisor, he often felt ignored. Prosecutors said Zhao previously worked at Concord Farms, the second location he targeted.

Wang said Zhao thought he had a mental illness and should see a doctor.

On Jan. 24, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) spoke passionately about stricter gun control after the shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California. (Video: Reuters)

Zhao has shown anger in the workplace before. In 2013, he was accused of threatening a colleague and separately trying to choke him, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, citing court documents.

Zhao, a Chinese national, said in an interview with KNTV that he is a green card holder who has lived in the United States for 11 years. The farm employs mostly Chinese and Latin American workers, a local official said.

Zhao is charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. If convicted on all charges, Zhao could face life in prison or the death penalty, Wagstaffe told reporters Wednesday outside a court in Redwood City, California.

The shooting victims are Zhishen Liu, 73; Qizhong Cheng, 66; Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50; Yetao Bing, 43; Aixiang Zhang, 74; Jingzhi Lu, 64; Office.

The attempted murder charge against Jao is for the case of Pedro Romero Perez, the person who was shot and wounded.

More on the California shootings

The last one: California grapples with two mass murders in three days. A weekend shooting at a Monterey Park dance studio left 11 people dead, and seven people were killed in related shootings at two locations around Half Moon Bay.

The victims: Identified victims of the Monterey Park shooting include a ‘loving aunt’ and a cheerleader. All those killed in the shooting were in their 50s, 60s and 70s, police said. Authorities have not released the identities of the victims in the Half Moon Bay shooting.

The suspects: Police have identified the Monterey Park suspect as Huu Canh Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday. Authorities arrested Zhao Chunli, 67, in connection with the Half Moon Bay shootings. He confessed to the shooting at two farms and said he was harassed.

the weapon: Officers described three guns they linked to the Monterey Park gunman: a shotgun found in his home, a handgun found in his van and what they said was a modified semi-automatic taken at the second dance studio. In the shootings in Half Moon Bay, authorities recovered a semi-automatic handgun from the vehicle the suspect was in. California’s gun laws are some of the strictest in the nation.

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