At least seven people were killed in two related shootings in the beach-side community of Half Moon Bay, an act of violence that comes just two days after 11 people were killed in another shooting in Monterey Park.
The suspected shooter, a 67-year-old resident of the community, was arrested about two hours after the shootings, sitting in a parked car at a sheriff’s substation.
Deputies with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office first found four victims shot to death in the 12700 block of Cabrillo Highway in an unincorporated area of the county just before 2: 30 p.m.
A fifth victim was also found in the area and taken to Stanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to The Times.
Minutes later, in a nearby area, deputies found three more victims dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
The motive for the shootings is still unknown, sheriff’s officials said in a statement.
The suspected shooter was identified as Zhao Chunli, after he was spotted sitting in his car at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office substation in Half Moon Bay.
Video from ABC 7 showed deputies taking a man to the ground in the parking lot. The man was wearing a white cap, vest and red long-sleeve shirt underneath.
Chunli was found at the substation at 4: 40 p.m., officials said in the statement to The Times.
The weapon believed to have been used in the incident was also found inside his car.
Half Moon Bay Mayor Deborah Penrose told The Times multiple people were killed.
“I’m very sorry for the families of the victims,” she said.
Penrose said she had been told that at least some of the victims were workers at nearby farms.
City officials were reaching out to nonprofit organizations to provide help to the affected families, and more information will be provided later Monday, she said.
“There is no ongoing threat to the community at this time,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet.
The shootings come just two days after 11 people were killed in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, shocking the community in one of the worst mass shooting incidents in Los Angeles County.
On Twitter, Gov. Gavin Newsom noted he was in the hospital meeting the victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he was notified about the shootings in Half Moon Bay.
“Tragedy upon tragedy,” Newsom tweeted.
President Biden has also been briefed on the situation, and has asked federal law enforcement officials to provide any needed assistance to local law enforcement, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“The scourge of gun violence has sadly hit home,” San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine said in a statement. “We have not even had time to grieve for those lost in the terrible shooting in Monterey Park. Gun violence must stop. The State of California has among the strictest gun laws in the United States, which we have strengthened through local action here, but more must be done. The status quo cannot be tolerated.”
Assemblyman Marc Berman noted the scale of violence to hit California: “Two hours ago I joined my colleagues on the Capitol steps for a vigil for the victims of the shooting in Monterey Park,” he said on Twitter. “Before we’ve even had a chance to mourn them, there is yet another mass shooting — this time in Half Moon Bay. In my district.”
The investigation into the Monterey Park mass shooting is focused on the gunman’s previous interactions at two dance studios he targeted and whether jealousy over a relationship was the motive, according to law enforcement sources.
The sources stressed that the investigation was in its early stages. But detectives believe that 72-year-old Huu Can Tran frequented the clubs — the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park and the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in Alhambra — and that the shooting might have been sparked by a personal dispute.
Inside Tran’s home in Hemet, investigators found a .308-caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, electronic devices, including cellphones and computers, and items that led officials to suspect he was manufacturing firearm suppressors, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a news conference Monday.