67-Year-Old Arrested Following Deadly Workplace Dispute in Half Moon Bay

Monday afternoon, Chunli Zhao, a 67-year-old Half Moon Bay resident, was arrested in the parking lot of the sheriff’s Half Moon Bay Substation more than two hours after a mass shooting that left seven dead and one critically injured.[0] According to Lt. Eamonn Allen, a deputy noticed Zhao's maroon SUV in the substation’s lot and ordered him out of the vehicle, which he did without further incident.[1]

The victims, who have since been identified as Zhishen Liu, 73, Aixiang Zhang, 74, Qizhong Cheng, 66, Jingzhi Lu, 64, Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, Yetao Bing, 43, and Jose Romero Perez, 38, were found dead at the Mountain Mushroom Farm in the 12700 block of San Mateo Road (Highway 92) and Concord Farms in the 2100 block of Cabrillo Highway South (Highway 1).[2]

Investigating officers believe the shooting spree was a case of workplace violence, as Zhao was an employee at the Mountain Mushroom Farm, and had a dispute with a supervisor over a $100 bill. He reportedly followed the supervisor and confronted him outside a greenhouse before retrieving a Glock handgun and shooting both him and the coworker who had been driving the bulldozer in the collision.[3]

Zhao is currently facing seven counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and the special circumstance of multiple murder, which could make him eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted.[4] He is due to be arraigned in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on January 31, 2023.

0. “What we know about Half Moon Bay shooting suspect Chunli Zhao” KRON4, 24 Jan. 2023, https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/what-we-know-about-half-moon-bay-shooting-suspect-zhao-chunli/

1. “Suspect in Half Moon Bay shootings was employee of farm where 5 where shot” The Almanac Online, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2023/01/24/suspect-in-half-moon-bay-shootings-was-employee-of-farm-where-5-where-shot

2. “Report: Half Moon Bay shooting suspect angered by bill from on-site accident” CBS News, 28 Jan. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/half-moon-bay-mass-shooting-suspect-anger-bill-accident-rep-anna-eshoo-house-floor-speech

3. “Dispute That Triggered Half Moon Bay Shooting Was Over $100 Damage Charge” SFist, 27 Jan. 2023, https://sfist.com/2023/01/27/dispute-that-triggered-half-moon-bay-shooting-was-over-100-damage-charge/

4. “Half Moon Bay shootings may have been triggered by $100 repair bill, DA says” KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco, 28 Jan. 2023, https://www.ktvu.com/news/half-moon-bay-shootings-may-have-been-triggered-by-100-repair-bill-da-says