California authorities on Monday identified six of the seven people killed in a “workplace violence” incident in the coastal town of Half Moon Bay, the second fatal mass shooting in the state in less than 48 hours.

The San Mateo County Coroner identified the dead as 73-year-old Zhisen Liu, 50-year-old Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 74-year-old Oxiang Zhang, 66-year-old Qizhong Cheng, 43-year-old Yetao Bing and 64-year-old Jingzhi Lu. The person was killed.

Chunli Zhao, 66, the sole suspect in Monday’s killing of agricultural workers at two mushroom farms in the maritime city, was charged on Wednesday with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The violence is the latest in a string of deadly shootings in the state — on Saturday, a 72-year-old man killed 11 people at a dance hall in Monterey Park, Southern California. A shooting at a gas station in Oakland has left one dead and seven injured. Last week, six people, including a teenage mother and her 10-month-old baby, were shot dead in a “horrific massacre” in the small Central Valley town of Goshen.

The gun rampage sent shockwaves through California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

“What’s going on?” California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, said Tuesday in Half Moon Bay. “It’s always been said ‘only in America’… It shouldn’t be this way; it wasn’t always this way. We let it happen.”

Kamala Harris, a California resident, had planned to visit Monterey Park on Wednesday to meet with the families of the 11 people who were shot and killed Saturday night by a gunman who later took his own life.

Police in Half Moon Bay took the suspected shooter into custody Monday evening outside the sheriff’s station, where officials said he drove shortly after attacking farm workers. Zhao was booked on charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm, according to county jail records.

Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, but said “all the evidence we have is an example of workplace violence.” Zhao was employed at Mountain Mushroom Farm, and lived on the property with some other employees, according to a spokeswoman for California Terra Gardens, the farm’s owner.

Located 30 miles from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is a community of approximately 12,000 residents that is home to both a luxury resort and a low-income farming community and is known for producing pumpkins and flowers. The region was hit hard after Christmas this year by a series of deadly “Atmospheric River” storms that killed at least one person in the county and caused massive flooding.

The shooting, which comes on the heels of the storm, has shed new light on the hardships faced by farm workers in the region. Many of them are immigrants Those from Latin America and Asia often live in squalid labor camps and toil long hours in poor conditions for extremely low pay. The governor said some farm workers in the region are making $9 an hour, well below the state minimum wage and living in shipping containers.

Officials said some of the dead were migrant workers.

“Many of these workers came to this country to work and support their families. Instead many of them lost family members yesterday,” said Christina Corpus, San Mateo First Latina Sheriff.

The coroner has not yet released the name of one of the victims. family members told Reuters Two of them – Jose and Pedro Romero – were brothers who immigrated from Mexico and worked on a mountain mushroom farm. Jose died and Pedro was hospitalized, a brother said.

Servando Martinez Jimenez told The Associated Press that his brother Marciano Martinez Jimenez, one of the victims, worked as a delivery man and manager at a farm. He came from the Mexican state of Oaxaca and lived in the United States for 28 years.

“He was a good person. He was polite and friendly with everyone. He never had a problem with anyone. I don’t understand why this all happened,” Martinez Jimenez said in Spanish.

Two days after the Half Moon Bay killings, another gunman was revealed to have opened fire 380 miles (610 km) south at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a club in Monterey Park frequented by older patrons of mostly Asian descent.

Eleven people were killed and nine injured in Saturday night’s shooting, which some survivors and onlookers said they initially mistook for fireworks as the predominantly Asian-American community was celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year.

The assailant, Huu Canh Tran, 72, then went to a second dance hall in the neighboring city of Alhambra, but was disarmed before being shot during an altercation with the club’s owner, authorities said.

The next morning, Tran shot and killed himself behind the wheel of his car as police stopped him south of Los Angeles, leaving investigators with few clues as to what led to the dance hall massacre.

Source

See also  Level up fails to make people think local areas are improving, survey finds - UK Politics Live

By admin