7 homicide counts anticipated in Half Moon Bay farm killings

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HALF MOON BAY: Prosecutors will cost a farmworker accused of killing seven folks in back-to-back shootings at two Northern California mushroom farms with seven counts of homicide and one rely of tried homicide, San Mateo County District Legal professional Steve Wagstaffe stated Wednesday.
The fees will probably be filed earlier than the suspect, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, makes his first court docket look Wednesday afternoon.
It was not instantly clear whether or not Zhao had an legal professional who might communicate on his behalf.
Authorities imagine Zhao acted alone when he entered a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay and opened fireplace, killing 4 and leaving one other severely wounded, San Mateo County Sheriff’s officers stated. He then drove to a different close by farm the place he had beforehand labored and killed a further three folks, stated Eamonn Allen, a sheriff’s spokesperson.
The sheriff’s workplace stated it believes the shootings have been “office violence” however has not additional detailed a motive.
Zhao additionally faces a particular circumstance allegation of a number of homicide, in addition to sentencing enhancements on every rely for using a firearm, Wagstaffe stated.
If convicted of the particular circumstance, Zhao might face life in jail with out the opportunity of parole or the dying penalty. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a moratorium on executions in 2019.
Officers haven’t but launched the names of the 5 males and two girls who died, nor the one man who was injured. Some have been Asian and others have been Hispanic, and a few have been migrant employees.
Servando Martinez Jimenez stated his brother Marciano Martinez Jimenez, who was a supply particular person and supervisor at one of many farms, was amongst these killed. Servando Martinez Jimenez stated his brother by no means talked about Zhao or stated something about issues with different employees.
“He was particular person. He was well mannered and pleasant with everybody. He by no means had any issues with anybody. I do not perceive why all this occurred,” Martinez Jimenez stated in Spanish exterior his Half Moon Bay dwelling.
Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, had lived in the USA for 28 years after arriving from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Servando Martinez Jimenez stated he’s working with the Mexican consulate to get his brother’s physique dwelling.
Allen declined to reply questions on whether or not Zhao had any earlier felony historical past, saying, “there have been no particular indicators that might have led us to imagine he was able to one thing like this.”
However wouldn’t have been Zhao’s first match of office rage, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In 2013 Zhao was accused of threatening to separate a coworker’s head open with a knife and individually tried to suffocate the person with a pillow, the Chronicle reported, primarily based on court docket paperwork.
The 2 have been roommates and labored at a restaurant on the time, and the person, recognized as Jingjiu Wang, filed a short lived restraining order towards Zhao that was granted however is not in impact. Wang couldn’t be instantly reached, the Chronicle reported.
The sheriff’s workplace recognized the primary taking pictures location as Mountain Mushroom Farm. However California Terra Backyard took over the enterprise final yr, firm spokesperson David Oates stated. He didn’t know the way lengthy Zhao labored there, including that he was certainly one of 35 workers who had stayed on when possession modified. Oates declined to offer particulars of the 4 slain employees.
The location of the second taking pictures was close by Harmony Farms. Proprietor Aaron Tung stated in an announcement that the farm was ready for extra data earlier than it might remark.
Half Moon Bay is a small, laid-back, coastal and agricultural metropolis about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Its sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean make it a preferred spot for hikers and vacationers, who flock there to surf and for an annual large pumpkin competition.
California was nonetheless reeling from an assault in Monterey Park, simply exterior Los Angeles, that killed 11 and forged a shadow over celebrations of Lunar New Yr, an essential vacation for a lot of Asian American communities. Authorities are nonetheless searching for a motive for the Saturday taking pictures.
The brand new yr has introduced six mass killings within the US in fewer than three weeks, accounting for 39 deaths. Three have occurred in California since Jan. 16, in line with a database compiled by The Related Press, USA Immediately and Northeastern College. The database tracks each mass killing – outlined as 4 lifeless, not together with the offender – within the US since 2006.
The shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park adopted the killing of a teenage mom, her child and 6 others at a house in California’s Central Valley on Jan. 16. Officers discussing the investigation talked about a attainable gang hyperlink to the killings.

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