Half Moon Bay shooting suspect has been charged; here's what each count means

Melanie Woodrow Image
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Suspect charged in HMB shooting; here's what each count means
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Chunli Zhao, the suspect behind the mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, has been charged with multiple counts. Here's what each one means.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Mateo County DA's Office tells ABC7 News it has a good sense of the order in which Chunli Zhao shot each of his victims in Half Moon Bay.

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The charging documents are laid out in the order in which the alleged offenses occurred.

Ten chilling pages paint a picture of who Zhao allegedly shot first, second and third, all the way through eighth.

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Investigators say they were able to piece together the timeline based on a lengthy statement from Zhao himself along with witness statements.

In addition to felony murder and attempted murder charges, Zhao is facing enhancements for intentionally discharging a firearm and inflicting great bodily injury.

A third enhancement is particularly significant: "Special Circumstance - Multiple Murder."

VIDEO: What we know about Half Moon Bay mass shooting suspect Chunli Zhao

The San Mateo County DA says that enhancement makes Zhao, if convicted, eligible for life without parole or the death penalty.

"So we have a long way to go before we make that decision," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Wagstaffe says it will be many months before the decision, adding that there is much more to be learned about Zhao and his victims.

Get the latest on the deadly Half Moon Bay shootings here.

Take a look at more stories by the ABC7 News I-Team.

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