It took barely a day for the Half Moon Bay shooter’s dark history to surface, leaving the shaken community by the seashore devastated by the attack and events that led up to it.
The lucky few who survived the attack at the mushroom farm had to hide in portable bathroom stalls to avoid the fate that seven other workers suffered.
California downplays violent shooting into workplace violence
According to official reports, the shooter, Chunli Zhao, spent his life in a ramshackle collection of trailers alongside his wife. He has been prone to violence, there being several attempts from him to strangle or threaten a person on his property.
Workplace violence is believed to be the motive for a gunman who opened fire at two Northern California farms on Monday, killing seven and injuring one, authorities say. ABC News' @reenaroy has the latest. pic.twitter.com/DFdefprmwB
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 24, 2023
Apart from this, he was also a worker at Mountain Mushroom Farms, which became one of the two shooting spree locations in recent times. Zhao showed up to work wielding a semi-automatic pistol.
However, for some reason, law enforcement that examined the scene declared the incident to have been workplace violence, even though it’s the deadliest shooting in San Mateo County to date.
Things were made worse by the fact it’s just another one in a series of violent attacks in the county over the past 72 hours as gun-related attacks skyrocketed in number.
On the other hand, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo condemned the attack, claiming Zhao murdered his coworkers in cold blood, execution style. She can confirm that from the several eyewitness reports she’d received as she met with the survivors.
Even though San Mateo authorities are trying to push the story that the attack wasn’t premeditated, Zhao’s history of violent outbursts would suggest a different story.
LIVE at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City this morning. 66-year old Chunli Zhao, of Half Moon Bay is expected to appear in court for the initial felony arraignment later this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/2lEUXy1aSY
— Michael Thomas (@michaeltnews) January 25, 2023
A long history of violent behavior
Around nine years ago, Zhao’s former roommate and coworker filed a restraining order against the man. He’d once threatened to kill them, which was in relation to Zhao losing his job at the restaurant he worked in at the time.
After threatening his roommate, Zhao then proceeded to grab a pillow and try to suffocate them. After failing, he followed up with yet another threat, this time that he’d split their head with a knife if he doesn’t get his job back.
What’s concerning is Zhao, with all his violent history, managed to legally acquire a semi-automatic weapon. The San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe was baffled by how that happened.
UPDATE: Chunli Zhao is being charged with 7 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder & special-circumstance of multiple murder along w/enhancements for using semiauto handgun in killings of fellow farm workers in @CityofHMB, per @SanMateoCoDA. pic.twitter.com/Z2qGQIO1Nt
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) January 25, 2023
Unfortunately, the Mountain Mushroom Farm shooting is only one in a series of violent attacks in California. Only last week, a shooter killed 11 people during a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park.
In addition to this, another shooting happened at an Oakland gas station, where an assailant murdered one person, injuring four others.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tried to use these events to push his anti-gun agenda, claiming the problem is simple with a simple solution, seeing as the US has the highest amount of guns per capita, while also being number one in gun-related deaths.