Half Moon Bay shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of homicide, is eligible for death penalty | Region & More Trending News

 

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — The man accused of killing seven individuals in a shooting rampage at a farm and nursery in Half Moon Bay — unleashing waves of terror, shock and grief all through this rural coastal neighborhood — faces felony expenses that might make him eligible for the death penalty, authorities mentioned.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steven Wagstaffe mentioned Wednesday that his workplace had but to find out whether or not to hunt capital punishment in opposition to the alleged gunman.

That choice “is something that will take place over the course of the next many, many months,” he mentioned throughout a information convention.

Chunli Zhao, 66, is accused of fatally shooting seven individuals and wounding one other Monday in what authorities have characterised as a case of office violence. He was “a co-worker or former co-worker of the victims at each shooting site,” the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office mentioned.

Law enforcement officers allege the shooting befell after Zhao “snapped” as a result of of a still-unknown grievance.

He has been charged with seven counts of homicide, one rely of tried homicide, firearm use enhancements for every rely, and a particular circumstance allegation of a number of homicide, in accordance with court docket information. Zhao didn’t enter a plea when he appeared in court docket Wednesday.

He is being held with out bail. An arraignment date is set for Feb. 16.

Should prosecutors resolve to not search the death penalty, Zhao may face a sentence of life in jail with out the chance of parole.

“This one is in a category that is way beyond anything we’ve ever dealt with,” Wagstaffe mentioned of the shootings. “I’m sorry that we have joined the list of counties around this country that have had to deal with this. I always hoped that that would not be something that would occur in my career. But now that it’s here, we’ll step up. We’ll see that justice gets done.”

Authorities on Wednesday recognized these killed within the shootings as Zhi Shen Liu, 73, of San Francisco; Marciano Jimenez Martinez, 50, of Moss Beach; Qi Zhong Cheng, 66, of Half Moon Bay; Ai Xiang Zhang, 74, of San Francisco; Jing Zhi Lu, 64, of Half Moon Bay; Ye Tao Bing, 43, whose residence was unknown; and Jose Romero, a Mexican nationwide.

Reuters reported that Jose Romero’s youthful brother Pedro Romero was additionally shot and was hospitalized.

The coroner’s workplace labored intently with the Mexican and Chinese consulates, in addition to the FBI, to search out methods to establish the victims and notify subsequent of kin, he added.

Much stays unclear concerning the alleged gunman and his background. According to the district lawyer, Zhao is from China and has been within the United States for “at least a decade.”

Local authorities mentioned they acknowledged him as a farm worker who had obtained meals and different help from a nonprofit that assists farm employees. A Half Moon Bay official mentioned the suspect had labored and lived for at the least three years on the scene of Monday’s first shooting: California Terra Garden, previously Mountain Mushroom Farm, on State Route 92.

At the driveway entrance to California Terra Garden on Wednesday, a younger man who recognized himself because the proprietor guarded the premises from his silver BMW, stopping different vehicles from coming into the property.

Law enforcement officers had taken the crime-scene tape down round 3 p.m., in accordance with the person, who declined to provide his identify.

Behind him sat a sprawling property of white greenhouse-like buildings. Several hundred yards away, nonetheless taped off, was the group of trailers the place the accused gunman was believed to have lived.

About two miles away, Concord Farms sat idle, its entrance gate open. There have been no indicators of motion or police exercise at this second shooting website, and the police tape that had coated a rear barn was gone.

Next door, a backhoe shoveled filth — its beeping and the whir of close by site visitors echoing throughout the eerily quiet scene.

The shootings rocked the usually tranquil neighborhood and added to days of sorrow and profound loss throughout California. Eleven individuals have been fatally shot and 9 others wounded at a Monterey Park dance studio on Saturday evening, and one particular person was killed and 4 others wounded Monday evening in Oakland through the filming of a music video.

Similarities between the shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay — each of which authorities allege have been carried out by older males and motivated by some sort of private animus — prompted hypothesis that the second could have been a copycat crime. But San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus and Wagstaffe dismissed that principle.

“We believe the answer is no to that,” Wagstaffe mentioned.

More particulars on what prompted the tragedy in Half Moon Bay will emerge within the days and weeks forward, however for now, many locally are already turning their consideration towards selecting up the items.

San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller, whose district consists of Half Moon Bay, mentioned Wednesday that the county was offering companies to 17 households instantly affected by the shooting.

That consists of family members of the shooting victims in addition to co-workers who have been current through the rampage, he mentioned.

Those affected have obtained monetary help and lodging at resorts, he mentioned. Officials are additionally planning to open a useful resource middle with caseworkers who can help with meals, authorized and psychological well being wants, in addition to different assist as crucial.

Although not all these people misplaced a blood relative, Mueller mentioned, (*7*) he mentioned. “And so we’re learning as much as we can and also trying to provide as much support as we can to help them in this terrible time.”


©2023 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Half Moon Bay shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of homicide, is eligible for death penalty | Region

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