Los Angeles, US, Jan 23 (EFE).- At least seven people were killed and one was critically wounded in two shootings in Half Moon Bay, California, on Monday, just two days after another mass shooting in the state.
The suspect, a 67-year-old man and resident of Half Moon Bay, a town of just over 11,000 people about 19 kilometers south of San Francisco, turned himself in to police, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said at a press conference.
At 2.22 pm, police responding to a call found four people dead with gunshot wounds, while one person, also with a gunshot wound, was taken to hospital with “life threatening injuries,” Corpus said.
Soon after, three other victims with gunshot wounds were found dead at a second location nearby.
The crime scenes are farm nurseries, and the suspect and the victims are believed to be farm workers, Corpus said.
The suspect, identified as Zhao Chunli, was located at 4.40 pm in his vehicle in the parking lot of the sheriff’s substation in Half Moon Bay and taken into custody. A semi-automatic handgun was found in his car.
While the motive is not yet known, Corpus said, but it is believed the suspect acted alone.
“This kind of shooting is horrific,” she said. “It’s a tragedy that we hear about far too often, but today it’s hit home here in San Mateo County.”
Children were on the scene, as families live on site, authorities said.
“It was in the afternoon, when kids were out of school. For children to witness it is unspeakable,” Corpus told reporters.
President Joe Biden was briefed on the attack and asked federal authorities to assist San Mateo County police, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
President of the San Mateo County Council Board of Supervisors, David Pine, stressed that gun violence in the US has reached “unacceptable levels.”
“There are simply too many guns in this country and there has to be a change,” Pine said at the press conference with the county sheriff. “This is not an acceptable way for modern society to live and conduct its affairs. We will do everything in our power to make those changes.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom wrote on Twitter that he was “At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy.”
The Half Boon Bay attack comes two days after a mass shooting on Saturday night in a ballroom dance studio in the Californian city of Monterey Park, about 15km east of Los Angeles, in which 11 people were killed by a 72-year-old man after Chinese New Year celebrations.
Last week, six people were also killed in a shooting in Goshen, California.
The so-called Golden State is one of the country’s most restrictive in the sale and use of weapons. EFE