Mass Shooting in Half Moon Bay Leaves 7 Dead and 1 Critically Injured

On Monday, a mass shooting in the small coastal city of Half Moon Bay, California left seven dead and one critically injured.[0] The suspected shooter, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, was taken into custody without incident at the sheriff’s office substation in Half Moon Bay.[1] A semi-automatic handgun was recovered from his vehicle.[2]

The incident began when deputies responded to a call of multiple victims in the 12700 block of San Mateo Road just after 2:20 p.m. Upon arrival, they found four people dead from gunshot wounds and a fifth person injured with life-threatening injuries.[1] The injured person was taken to Stanford Medical Center.[1] A few hours later, three more people were found dead at a second location, Rice Tucking-Soil Farm, located about 8km away.[3]

The victims are believed to be workers on the properties, according to San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus.[2] Half Moon Bay Councilmember Debbie Ruddock confirmed that the victims were Chinese farmworkers.[4]

In the wake of the tragedy, California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted, “At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy.”[5] Dave Pine, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, said, “We are sickened by today's tragedy in Half Moon Bay. Gun violence must stop.”[6]

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted that President Biden had been briefed on the shooting and “has asked federal law enforcement to provide any necessary assistance to the local authorities.”[5] The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has received assistance from the FBI in the form of investigative and forensic resources.[7]

IDES Hall, located at 735 Main Street in Half Moon Bay, has been designated as a family reunification center.[7] The hall is granting refuge to families who reside in dwellings too close to the sites of criminal activities, thus prohibiting them from returning home.[7]

The shootings have been treated as related and the suspect is believed to be a “disgruntled worker” at one of the businesses.[8] More than two hours after the shooting, Zhao was apprehended in the parking lot of the Half Moon Bay Substation of the sheriff.[9]

0. “‘Horrific Reality': Local, State Leaders React to Deadly Half Moon Bay Mass Shooting” NBC Bay Area, 24 Jan. 2023,

1. “Seven dead in Half Moon Bay mass shooting, 67-year-old man in custody” The Almanac Online, 24 Jan. 2023,

2. “7 dead, 1 injured in Half Moon Bay shootings; suspect in custody” CNBC, 24 Jan. 2023,

3. “Half Moon Bay shooting spree: 7 Chinese farm workers killed in California” Marca English, 23 Jan. 2023,

4. “At least 7 dead following shootings in Half Moon Bay; suspect arrested” KSBW Monterey, 24 Jan. 2023,

5. “Northern California shooting leaves at least 7 dead, officials say: suspect in custody” Fox News, 24 Jan. 2023,

6. “Seven killed in two shootings in Half Moon Bay, California” Al Jazeera English, 24 Jan. 2023,

7. “Update: 7 dead in Half Moon Bay mass shooting; suspect in custody identified” CBS San Francisco, 24 Jan. 2023,

8. “Half Moon Bay: at least seven dead in another California mass shooting” The Guardian US, 24 Jan. 2023,

9. “What we know about Half Moon Bay shooting suspect Chunli Zhao” KRON4, 24 Jan. 2023,