Still reeling from the shooting that left 11 dead in Monterey Park on Saturday, the state of California suffered a second massive attack on Monday in which at least seven people died and one was seriously injured. This time it was a double shooting that took place in Half Moon Bay, a small rural city of 11,000 inhabitants near San Francisco. Police have detained the suspect, a 67-year-old man named Zhao Chunli, who turned himself in and was “fully cooperative” with authorities shortly after the attacks: he was found inside his car, with the used weapon, in a parking lot. Located at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Christina Corpus told a televised news conference that police had received a call at 2:20 p.m. local time. When she arrived at the scene of the first shooting, at the Mountain Mushroom Farm, after 2:30 p.m., she found four people dead and one seriously injured. Shortly after, a second shooting would take place at a nearby location, around the Rice Tucking-Soil farm.RELATED
The investigation has not yet been able to clarify a motive for the mass murder, as confirmed by the sheriff’s department office. After the work carried out in the area affected by a large police deployment, in which patrol cars and helicopters have participated, the office has tweeted that “at this time there is no threat to the community.” In this way, it has confirmed that the only suspect in the attack is the man arrested, who would have traveled by car from the first to the second place where the shootings took place.
Shootings and storms are devastating California in January
“There were farm workers and children at the scene,” San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller warned at a press conference: “This is a truly heartbreaking tragedy in our community.” With the same tone, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who met yesterday with the relatives of the victims on Saturday, regretted on Twitter that the state is suffering “tragedy upon tragedy” in this bloody month of January, in which it has also been affected by strong storms in which at least 17 people have died.
“The amount of stress that this community has suffered in recent weeks is really very high,” Mueller lamented. It is the second shooting in three days, or the third in eight, in the state of California. Following these latest attacks, the count of deaths by firearms in mass shootings across the country stands at 69 so far in January. These mass shootings -that is, they have left at least four dead or injured- have taken place in 39 different locations throughout the country, according to the organization Gun Violence Archive.
The two attackers are around 70 years old
The deadliest shooting was the one that occurred on Saturday coinciding with the Chinese New Year, which has left 11 dead. The attack occurred at a popular dance hall in Monterey Park. Although the police have not found any relationship between the two attacks, the age of the two alleged attackers does stand out: a 72-year-old man on Saturday and another 67 on Monday. It is more than double the average for this type of attack, which has stood at 32 in the last six decades, according to the research center Violence Project. In fact, since 2020 there has only been one mass shooting in the country in which the attacker was over 70 years old.
California is shocked and powerless after Monday’s attack at Half Moon Bay, a peaceful coastal spot known to area surfers. “Before we have even had a chance to cry (the attack on Saturday in Monterey Park), there is another mass shooting,” lamented state congressman Mark Berman, who has asked the authorities to act against “the epidemic of violence with Firearms”. At the time of the attack, Berman was meeting with some of his colleagues on the steps of the Capitol “for a vigil for the victims of the shooting,” and the second attack just took place, “this time in Half Moon Bay, in my district ”, has communicated.