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

ByStephanie Sierra and Lena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, January 26, 2023
What we know about Half Moon Bay mass shooting suspect
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Here's what we know about the Half Moon Bay shooting suspect Chunli Zhao who allegedly fatally shot 7 people at Mountain Mushroom Farm, Concord Farms

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- While there are still many details to be uncovered on the mass shooting at two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms, investigators have released some key information on the suspect.

Chunli Zhao, 66, of Half Moon Bay, is accused of shooting five people at the Mountain Mushroom Farm, four of who died, before shooting and killing an additional three victims at Concord Farms.

RELATED: 7 dead, 1 hurt after shootings at 2 farms in Half Moon Bay

On Wednesday, Zhao was charged with seven counts of murder and one of attempted murder. In addition, he is also facing enhancements for intentionally discharging a firearm and inflicting great bodily injury.

A third enhancement is particularly significant: "Special Circumstance - Multiple Murder." The San Mateo County DA says that enhancement makes Zhao, if convicted, eligible for life without parole or the death penalty.

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

According to court documents, Zhao had a restraining order filed against him by a former roommate and coworker in 2013. They both worked at a restaurant when Zhao reportedly lost his job, the documents say.

In the documents, the roommate says Zhao threatened that if he didn't get his job back, he would kill him. Zhao, at one point, even held a pillow over his face, reportedly trying to suffocate him.

Zhao was a forklift driver at Mountain Mushroom Farm for five to six years. He also lived at the farm, which is fairly common among the workers.

RELATED: Half Moon Bay shooting suspect had history of making threats to coworkers, court documents reveal

Investigators say Zhao had a lot of built-up anger towards his co-workers, and that all eight of his victims were intentionally targeted.

It is still unclear if the anger was a known issue between Zhao and his co-workers or if it was an isolated incident that escalated.

Sources tell the ABC7 I-Team after the shootings Zhao was reportedly found inside his car in the parking lot of the sheriff's office's Half Moon Bay police substation. Sources say the seat was reclined and the semi-automatic handgun was next to Zhao. The suspect allegedly tried to send his wife a text message saying something along the lines "see you in the next life."

EXCLUSIVE: Video shows police takedown of Half Moon Bay shootings suspect

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

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