At least seven people were killed and one person critically injured in shootings in two separate locations in a small coastal community in central California, becoming the state’s second mass shooting in three days, officials said.
The suspect, identified as 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, was taken into custody more than two hours after the shootings in Half Moon Bay Monday, according to San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus. Authorities believe Zhao acted alone.
“This is a devastating tragedy for this community and the families touched by this unspeakable act of violence,” Corpus said Monday night during a news conference.
Deputies were alerted to a shooting in an unincorporated area in San Mateo County at 2:22 p.m. PT, the sheriff said. They found four victims dead and one wounded upon arrival at the first location, and soon after, three more victims were found dead at a separate site, Corpus said.
One shooting took place at a mushroom farm and another near a trucking facility, approximately two miles from the farm, Dave Pine, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors earlier told CNN.
At 4:40 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy located the suspect in his vehicle in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation in Half Moon Bay, Corpus said, and he was taken into custody without incident. A semi-automatic handgun was found in his vehicle at that time, she said.
“This kind of shooting is horrific,” Corpus said at the news conference. “It’s a tragedy that we hear about far too often but today has hit home here in San Mateo County.”
The motive is not yet known, the sheriff said, but officials believe the suspect acted alone and the community isn’t under threat.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was at a hospital meeting victims of the Monterey Park mass shooting when he was “pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay.”
“Tragedy upon tragedy,” Newsom tweeted.
The shooting in Monterey Park over the weekend left 11 people dead.
Half Moon Bay is approximately 28 miles south of San Francisco and lies within the westernmost portion of San Mateo County, according to information on the city’s website.