Victims named in mass shooting at Half Moon Bay mushroom farms in California

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Authorities in California have identified six of the seven victims killed in a “workplace violence” incident in the coastal town of Half Moon Bay on Monday, the state’s second deadly mass shooting in less than 48 hours.

The San Mateo County coroner identified the victims as Zhishen Liu, 73, Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, Aixiang Zhang, 74, Qizhong Cheng, 66, Yetao Bing, 43, and Jingzhi Lu, 64. Charge documents named Jose Romero Perez as the other person killed.

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Chunli Zhao, 66, the sole suspect in Monday’s massacre of farm workers at two mushroom farms in the resort town, was charged with seven murders and one attempted murder on Wednesday.

The violence is the latest in a string of deadly shootings across the state — on Saturday, a 72-year-old killed 11 people at a dance hall in Southern California’s Monterey Park. One person was killed and seven injured in a shooting at a gas station in Oakland. Last week, six people were shot and killed, including a teenage mother and her 10-month-old baby, in a “horrific massacre” in the small town of Goshen in the Central Valley.

The gun violence sent shock waves through California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

“What the hell is going on?” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in Half Moon Bay on Tuesday. “It is said all the time ‘only in America’… It doesn’t have to be that way; wasn’t always like that. We made this happen.”

California native Kamala Harris planned to travel to Monterey Park on Wednesday to meet with some of the families of the 11 people who were fatally shot Saturday night by a gunman who later killed himself.

Police in Half Moon Bay took the suspected shooter into custody Monday night outside a sheriff’s office, where officials said he had driven into farm workers shortly after the attack. Zhao was booked on suspicion of first-degree murder, attempted murder and firearms offenses, according to county jail records.

Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, but have said “all the evidence we have points to this being the case of workplace violence”. Zhao was employed by Mountain Mushroom Farm and had lived on the property with several other employees, according to a spokesperson for the ranch’s owner, California Terra Gardens.

Located 30 miles from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is a community of approximately 12,000 residents that is home to both a luxury resort and a low-income farming community known for producing pumpkins and flowers. The region was hit hard by a series of deadly “atmospheric river” storms after Christmas this year, killing at least one person in the county and causing major flooding.

The shooting, which came on the heels of the storms, cast a renewed spotlight on the hardships faced by the area’s farm workers, many of them immigrants from Latin America and Asia who often live in squalid labor camps and toil long hours under poor conditions. conditions for extremely low prices. Pay. The governor said some farm workers in the area were making $9 an hour, well below the state’s minimum wage, and were living in shipping containers.

Some of the dead were migrant workers, officials have said.

“Many of these workers came to this country to work and provide for their families. Instead, many of them lost relatives yesterday,” said Christina Corpus, San Mateo’s first Latina sheriff.

The coroner has not yet released the name of one victim. Relatives told Reuters that two of them — Jose and Pedro Romero — were brothers who had emigrated from Mexico and worked at Mountain Mushroom Farm. Jose died and Pedro was hospitalized, a cousin said.

Servando Martinez Jimenez told the The US Express News that his brother Marciano Martinez Jimenez, one of the victims, worked as a delivery driver and manager on one of the farms. He lived in the United States for 28 years after emigrating from the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

“He was a good person. He was polite and friendly to everyone. He never had problems with anyone. I don’t understand why all this happened,” Martinez Jimenez said in Spanish.

The killings in Half Moon Bay came two days after another gunman opened fire 380 miles south at the Star Ballroom dance studio, a club frequented primarily by older clientele of Asian descent in Monterey Park.

Eleven people died and nine were injured in Saturday night’s gunfire, which some survivors and bystanders said they initially mistook for fireworks as the predominantly Asian-American community observed the start of the Lunar New Year.

Then the assailant, Huu Can Tran, 72, drove to a second dance hall in the neighboring city of Alhambra but was disarmed without firing a shot in a fight with that club’s operator, officials said.

The next morning, Tran shot himself behind the wheel of his vehicle as police closed in on him south of Los Angeles, leaving investigators with little clue as to what caused the dance hall massacre.

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