The coastal community of Half Moon Bay is reeling from a mass shooting Monday afternoon where a man killed seven people at two separate mushroom farms, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said the victims were five men and two women, who were mostly Asian American and Latino farmworkers, and suspected to be the shooter’s coworkers.
An eighth male victim was injured and transported to Stanford Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. The victim was out of surgery and stable as of Tuesday morning.
What we know about the Half Moon Bay shooting victims
The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as:
Zhishen Liu, 73, San Francisco
Qizhong Cheng, 66, Half Moon Bay
Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, Moss Beach
Yetao Bing, 43, unknown residence
Aixiang Zhang, 74, San Francisco
Jingzhi Lu, 64, Half Moon Bay
The seventh victim was not identified by official sources.
The Mexican Consulate of San Francisco said Tuesday two of the victims who died were from Mexico. The eighth male victim at Stanford Medical Center is also of Mexican descent.
Farm manager killed in shootings
Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, was a delivery person and manager at one of the farms, his brother, Servando Martinez Jimenez, told The Associated Press. He had lived in the United States for 28 years after arriving from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, the outlet reported.
Servando Martinez Jimenez said his brother never mentioned Zhao and never brought up any problems with other workers.
“He was a good person. He was polite and friendly with everyone. He never had any problems with anyone. I don’t understand why all this happened,” Martinez Jimenez said in Spanish outside his Half Moon Bay home.
Martinez Jimenez is working with the Mexican consulate to get his brother’s body back home, the outlet reported.
Seventh victim identified by family
The Mercury News and Reuters confirmed Jose Romero Perez as another victim of the shooting.
Renato Juarez Perez told The Mercury News that one of his cousins, Jose Romero Perez, was killed and his other cousin was injured in the mass shooting.
“Just two days ago, we were talking,” Juarez Perez told the outlet.
The other cousin, Pedro Romero Perez, who is in his 20s, was injured and taken to the hospital, Renato Juarez Perez told The Mercury News. Pedro Romero Perez was the brother of Jose Romero Perez.
Renato Juarez Perez told Reuters that his deceased cousin has a wife and children in Mexico. He added that the family is looking for financial help to send the body to Mexico.
“You look to improve your life and then you end up with this,” Juarez Perez told Reuters.
Where did the shootings happen?
Sheriff Christina Corpus said during a Tuesday morning press conference that evidence points to the shootings as an incident of workplace violence. The alleged shooter, Chunli Zhao, 66, is a Half Moon Bay resident, and was arrested at the Sheriff’s Office Half Moon Bay Police Substation.
The shootings took place at Mountain Mushroom Farms, where Zhao was employed, and at Concord Farms, which are less than 3 miles of driving distance from each other. A call placed to both farms was not returned.
Concord Farms has been in business since 1987, according to its website, and opened their farm because of the area’s optimal climate to grow mushrooms.
Amritpal Kaur Sandhu-Longoria is the consumer watchdog investigative reporter with USA TODAY. Send her your tips at [email protected], @AmritpalKSL, or on Signal at (279) 789-2462.
Contributing: The Associated Press